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O F 



O F 









B T T H X 



'm,DCC.LXXXIV»: ; / - 

( ♦ ) 

',r \L-\\ f. 


AS the fubjca of this Ttanfla- 
tion carries us back to |^ 
very didant period, it may be of 
life to make a few previous reflec- 
tlonsj particularly on the. ahcieat 
romance writers^ who are fo conti^ 
Hually referred to in it4 

, The progrefs o£ human know- 
ledge, and its good eiFe^s on the 
A 3 coridtf<a 


condud of mankind, if juftly coiv* 
iidered, cannot admit of a doubts 
But, to accompiifh this end, the 
world fliould not only be viewed 
colledlvely, but with a peculiar 
attention, and claiTed into diflindt 
periodsL: .for as.a general map of 
^e earth will give an incomplete 
idea 'of any idiftindt part^; fo a cur- 
fbry obfcTvation ofi diiSenrat ^g^h 
will fervc merely to produce a con- 
fufed notion of what paffed in any 
- fingle century. A micitite view, 
therefore, of thofe aeras, wherein 
great events have tak«n" place, or , 
diftinguiflied charaders have ap- 
2 . peared. 


|)eared, is ed^ential to the obtaining 
a right judgment of the increale o£ 
fcience, and thcf pcogrefs of the arts: 
and it would be well worth while 
to pafs over a multitude of tyrants, 
whole lives are written in blood, to 
purfue one good man through a life 
of ufeful ftudy 5 or to obfervc the 
attempts made, however imper-^ 
fedly, to refcuc the mind from ig- 
norance and fuperftitifHir 

This refledion induced me to 
tranflate the Life of Petrarch, 
and the Hiftory of the Trouba- 
dours ; which, placed in their chro- 
A 4 nological 

viii PREFACE* 

nological order with the following 
work, will include a comprehen- 
iive period of ancient cufloms and 
manners, and the riie and progrefs 
of knowledge that took place there- 
in. To Tome, I am aware, the for- 
mer may appear too remote to be 
t)f ufe, and in view to their preju- 
<lices concerning Chivalry, a child- 
ifli objed to attend to : yet let 
fuch confider (even allowing this to 
be the truth) that the prattle of an 
infant, though pafled over by the 
.carelefs and unconcerned, to the 
judicious and afFedionate mind of- 
ten announces noble difpofitions and 

a manly 


a manly charader; and is delightful 
to behold) as the prognoftic of fu^' 
ture perfcAion. 

In ■ one ilriking point of vieW| 
the ages of Chivalry do indeed 
bear a ftrong refemblance to chiU 
dren. Thofe who defcribed them 
(which were chiefly the old ro- 
mance writers) defcribed Amply 
what they faw 5 and have always 
been found in accord with hifto"- 
rians of the greateft authenticity. 
Their principal objed was, to re- 
. prefcnt the characters, duties, and 
humane offices of the noble lords 



tnd ladies o( the age in which they 
Hved^ and thofe who compofed 
their courts, caftles, and domains ; 
and they referred even fovereigna 
themfelves to' the awful tribunal 
of divine juftice. In this light, they 
are as highly to be prized as the 
ancient poets fo juftly were, in the 
times of the Greeks and Romans ; 
and if fome authors had known, 
inftead of having defpifed, the an- 
"ciefit romances, they would have 
wrote with more cleamefs of thofe 
ages; In truth, it is a great weak- 
jiefs to hold any work in contempt 
on account of its title, or becaufe a 


P R E F A C E. ti 

multitude of tri£ing or bad pro-^ 
dudions bear the fame; and was it 
not done by man^r, it ibould kcm 
quite make the re- 
mark : for how much good ienfcy 
knowledge of charader, and juft 
fatire on vice and folly, in nations 
and individuals, not fuited to graver 
fubjeds, or if fuited not attended 
to, would be loft, was thi^ to be- 
come univerfal ? 

Thb romances of Aftrea, Cyrus^ 
Cleopatra, the Princefs of Ctevesj 
and Zayde, were wrote to p'aiiit 
the manners in the courts bf Henry 



the Fourth, Lewis the Thirteenthj 
and Lewis the Fourteenth, as cha- 
raderiftic novels ; and for their 
idelicacy (though fomewhat prolix} 
they are far from deferving the 
negle& they are failen into.— - 
It would be a refledioti on tlie 
jtader to name, as proofs, (bme 
eftabliihed works of this kind, from 
Spanifh, French, and Englidi au- 
thors ; or to dwell upon a late pub-> 
lication, which is no lefs furprifing 
for the early period of life in which 
it was written, than for the juftnefs 
of charader (it being a pidure of 
modern life) and the valuable fenti^ 



tncnts, enforced by a peculiar ftrength 
of language, through the whole. 

Pursued in their/'/i^mearure, fuck 
ftudies are not only innocent, but 
might prove ufeful relaxations from 
the cares of life ; and very advanta-^ 
geous fubftitutes, in many focial 
hours of leifure, for thoie late and 
diillpating amufements, which ex- 
hauil the fpirits and the health, ot 
wafte the property, of individuals* 

With refped to the romance 
writers referred to in this work> 
they have the t^ftimony of fo many 


O"^/ quote a W of tie 

-•l the e«reL ,? "™^'»^«'. 
*virii the lowefh ok r 


°^ learning, not 


to have read them ; or having read^ 
not to profit by them. They are ia 
fad a portra,it of the old times ; and 
are to be regarded as we do the re- 
mains of fculpture, the perfedlions 
of which we admire, without being 
ofFended at the want of drapery, 
Thefe writers (continues he) who 

give the hiftory of Chivalry and 


Knight-errantry, contain what I 
have not found in the hiflorians of 
thofe time* ; who, in their general 
relations, touch not on the cuf* 
toms and manners that were pecu» 
liar to them. To the old romances 
(concludes Le Laboureur} have I 


xvi F H E F A C E.iJi^ 

been obliged to apply for the 'difit 
covery of tbefe thiogs ; and. ftom 
their copious fund of obferlJ Bfe ^ 
the geographer, chronologer, i^t*^. 
quarian, and profefTor of h^i^i^ 
may draw the moil curious ^^|^ i^W 
portant details.'* — Favin aMt.C^a^ 
lond declare, it is from this went 
we muft draw the true knowftni 
ledge of antiquity: " for. i'*^'^ 


hiftorians feldom give thedti£ejb|^ 
(add thefe writers) the tr^uji^e^; 
to tranfmit the particumJf.-iQfe 
ancient cuftoms : they only^-^ln^ 
tion them by the bye. — Mii .j&ik- 


. •■ . > v.- V • • 

P R Jp: F A C E. xvii 

pellain, wKofe erudition is uni- 
verially acknowledged, exprefles 
the fame /entiment, in a dia> 
logue addrefied to ttie Cardinal 
de Retz i — ahd M. Le Fevre de- 
termined to draw up a tfeatife on 
the ancient cul^oms, in which his 
matter ihould be chiefly taken from 
the romance of Lancelot de Lac. 

Furnished with fuch refpeflable 
authorities, there requires little 
apology for clafling the ancient ro- 
mance writers with the hiftorians 
of thofe times : the fource from 
whence they formed their ro- 
mances, being the relations of the 

b knights 

xviii PREFACE. 

knights errant, niade on oath, the 
compoiitions of the heralds, and 
the recitals of the Troubadours : 
■' and nothing but difgrace could be 

gained by a mifreprefehtation of 
places, charafters,^ cufloms, and 
manners well known. 

Let us not, therefore, defpife 
thefe works of antiquity, but re- 
vere them for the knowledge and 
the inftrudions their curious details 
5 afford ua. Women, in particular, 
ought to hold thefe ancient writers 
in high cfteem, for the deference 
they paid to modefty^ and the fame 



they fo liberally beftowcd on vir-r 
tue. Tliey taught generous firm- 
nefs, judicious obfervance of fupe-^ 
riors, and conftant love, to unite 
in the fame hearts: they taught to 
honour the valiant, to attend the 
wounded, to relieve the diflrefi*ed, 
and to difpenfe the fweet folace of 
chearful and gentle manners to all 
around them : they taught them to 
refped themfelves, and to prefer 
others ; to be filent, obfervant, and 
induftrious in youth, graceful and 
digniHed in maturity, venerable 19 
age, and lamented at death. 

3 Hap 


Had I not been fully perfuaded 
that the following Work was fruit- 
ful of inftrudion to all, but parti- 
cularly to the youth of both fexes,/ 
I would not have undertaken the 
tranflation of it, eft have been at the 
pains of interweaving the notes into 
the original : but theTe appeared to 
me peculiarly deferving of atten- 
tion, as they are quotations from 
the ancient romances, and from a 
few of the old French hiftorians, 
. which are moft of them very fcarce, 
if at all to be procured in this 



O F 



I'kc condition and employment of the Page 
and the Squire. 

CHIVALRY, confidcredas a dignity 
which gave the firft rank in the mi- 
litary profeffion, conferred by peculiar ce- 
remonies and a folemn oath, cannot be 
traced further back than the eleventh 
century ; though Charlemagne, and other 
kings of France, conferred it on their 
children, as did alfo, fays Tacitus, the 
B Germans. 

t Memoirs of 

Germans. However it may be viewed, in 
modern times, as a frivolous or pernicious 
eftabliibment; it was neverthekfs the work 
of an enlightened policy, and the glory of 
thofe nations among whom it flouriflied ! 

To give a juft idea of its utility, it will 
l>e neceiTary to behold the knight from 
the cradle to the tomb ; to confider his 
education in youth, and his domeflic and 
military fervices ; and to join, with a dif- 
tinfi view of his character, a defcription 
of the tournaments which fitted him for 
war : to obferve the ufe made in the ar- 
mies, of the valour, addrefs, and experi- 
ence of the knights who were thus trained ; 
the rewards promifed to thofe who diftin- 
guifhed themfelves in the combats and 
battles; and the punifhments with which 
they were threatened, if they failed in 
their duty: and> finally^ to obferve a. 
jftridt impartiality, and take in the whole 
view of this fubjedt, it will be expedient 
to examine the caufes which produced thq 
lO decay^ 


A?cay and ruin of chivalry, and the tncon* 
vcniencies which, in Ibme degree, coun* 
terbalanced the advantages cf this noble 

The child who was deftined to knight** 
hood, continued, till feven years of agc^ 
in the care of women ; he was theft 
taken from them, and put into the hands 
of a governor (as the empefor Julian ob- 
ferves of himfclf in his Mifopogon) and 
by a robufl: and manly education, he was 
early prepared for the labour of war. 

In default of paternal afliflance, the 
courts of princes and caftles of the nobles 
Were always open, in which the young no- 
bility received their firft leflbns ; and thelS 
caftles were even religious hofpitals, the 
lords of which furnifhed, with a generotts 
abundance, all tha^ was requifite to fuppiy 
their wants. This was the only refbufcA 
for the youth without dow6r, in thefe 
ages } for the power and liberality of Ibvc- 
B 2 tdigns^ 

if M EM O I R S OF 

f^gn^, equally limirted; had not yet opened 
'a more ufeful and noble way for thofc 
who would devote themfelvcs to the de- 
fence and the honour of their ftate and 
their crown. 

To be thus attached to fome illuftrious 
knight^ had nothing in it degrading ; it 
was only rendering benefit for benefit; and 
it muft have been a refinement more fub- 
tie than noble-minded, that could have 
refufed the gratefully paying to him, who 
generoufly took the place of a father, the 
fervices fo juftly his due as from a fon. 

If any fhould afcribe the origin of this 
benevolence to vanity, it muft ftill be ac- 
knowledged, that even this vanity concur- 
red to the public good, and was at leaft 
an imitation of virtue. The kind of inde- 
pendence which the firft barons had en- 
joyed at the beginning of the third race 
of kings, their houfes being compofed of 
the fame oifficers as that of the king, .gave 

a fort 

Ancient Chivalry* '^ 

a fort of title to their fucceffors to imitate^ 
in the pomp of what they called their fourts> .' 
that fplehdour and niagnificence which bc^ 
longed only to royal dignity. The diftin€t 
privileges of fome barons were, to have a 
marihal and a confbble : and inferior lords, 
by the contagion common in all ages, of 
emulating the appearance of thofe above 
them, fought to aggrandize the ftate of 
their houfes. 

In the eleventh century, the great lor4s 
were reproached 'with multiplying their 
domeftic chapels, which abufe continued 
to the fourteenth century ; even common 
lawyers had their chaplains. In a caifUe and 
axnonaftery there were the fame officers 
as in the court of a fovereign : when the 
abbot of St, Denys Went into the coun- 
try, he was accompanied by a chamber- 
lain and a marihal, whofe offices were 
erected into a fief. 

B 1 The 

6 MiMoiRs or 

The firft place given the young man to 
fill up, who emerged frona the ftate q£ 
childhood, was that of * Page ; a name 
fometimes given to the fquires. Sain tie 
Jouveqeal, being then thirteen years of 
age, went from the palace of the lord of 
PrieuUe to the court of King John; where 
he was a page, and a child of honour, and 
was called fometimes a valet, and at others 
a fquire. Inferior fervants were fliled 
body pages, and fometimes only pages. 
According to Juvenal des Urfinsi in his 
hiftory of Charles the Sixth, ^* there 
were eight thouiand knights, and fquire$, 
iervants and bqdy pages without end." 

The employments of the young page, 
wei^ to perform the iervice of a donxcftic 
about the performs of his maAer and mif- 
trefs ^ he attended them to the chace, on 
their joumies, their vifits, and their walks; 
he carried their meflages, and even waited 
on them at table, and poured out their 



Ancient Chivalry. 7 

The young chevalier Bayard was placed 
by his parents in the houfc of the bifho^ 
of Grenoble, his uncle, who brought him 
with him to the court of Savoy. The pre^ 
late being admitted to the table of the duke> 
during the dinner his nephew, th^ good 
chevalier Bayard, fervcd him with drink in 
exadt order, and demeaned himfelf with 
great delicacy. The proteftion of the great» 
their commendations, and the emulation 
this raiied in the hearts of their pages, 
were fources of the courtefy and good- 
breeding of the knights. 

The firft lefTons given to the page, con- 

\ fifted principally in the love of God, and 

attachment and refped to the fair fer. 

They caufed him early to make choice of 

/ one of the moft noble, handfome, and 

virtuous ladies in the courts he frequented; 

and to her he was to refer all his fenti- 

ments, thoughts, and actions. The prc^- 

ccpts of religion eftablifbed, however, in 

the heart, a veneration for things faqred, 

B 4 which. 

Memoirs of 

which, fooncr or later, had its effed: i and 
the precepts of love, fpread over the com* 
mercc with the fair fex, that circumfpec- 
tion, that . tender refpeft, and attention, 
which has never been cflfaccd, but has al- 
ways been the particular character of the 
French nation. Gallantry had even intro- 
duced into their epiftolary commerce thjs 
concluding form, and the Queen of France 
ufed it in this fenfe to Sain tie : ^^ I pray 
** God to give you joy of your lady, and 
♦* of all you defirc." — The inftrudions 
that the youth received, with refpedl to 
decency of manners, to converfation, an4 
to virtue, were continually exemplified in 
the charad^ers of the knight and the lady 
he ferved. In them were reprefented the 
models of thofe exterior graces fo neceflary 
in the commerce of the world. 

The generous care of the nobles to 
employ the youth who were unprovided 
for, turned out to their own advantage. 
It gave competitors, in thefe young men, 


AncientChivalry. 9 

to their children^ which excited in them 
a juft emulation. The connexions thus 
formed by habit^ a long union with 
each otiier in youths and the double 
tie of benefits and gratitude fucceeding, 
became indiiToluble bonds in after life. 
Of this noble friendfhip, Saintie and Bou- 
cicout, who were brought up together in 
the domeftic fervice of the king, were emi- 
nent examples. But what was confidered 
of ftill more importance than all, was the 
teacihing the pupil (and which indeed 
they were the moil capable of teaching in 
this age) to refpedt the auguft and facred 
character of Chivalry, and to revere, in 
the knights, the virtues that had raifed 
them to this high dignity. By this means 
the fervices they rendered them were ftilj 
greater in their efteem; and when they 
ferved a fingle knight, they paid as it were 
A tribute to the whole body of knight-* 


|o Mem o 1 r s o.p 

Thb gaoiesj which made a part of th« 
•mufements of the pnpil^ contributed alfo 
to his inilrudtion* The emulative difpo* 
fition» natural to his agCi led him to imi« 
tate what he beheld done by pcrfons who 
were older than himfelf ; and thus he 
formed an early tafte for the different 
kinds of tournaments he was to engage in^ 
that he might obtain the degree of fquire, 
which was often the next ftep to knight- 
bood. But before he pafied from the 
condition of page to that of fquire, reli* 
gion had introduced a fort of ceremony, 
the defign of which was to teach him the 
life he was to make of the fword» which 
for the firfl time was put into his hands » 
The young man, on his quitting the place 
of page, was prefented to the altar by his 
father and mother, who each holding a 
lighted taper in their hands, attended the 
folemnity « The officiating prieft took from 
the altar a fword and a girdle, on which 
he beftowed feveral benediftions, and then 


Ancient Chivalry^ ii 

faftening it to the iidc of the young mao^ 
from that time he conlbuitly wore it. 

Th» courta and the caftles were alio 
excellent fchools of courtefy, of polite^F 
nefs^ and other virtues, for the young 
gentlewomen bred up with the pages and 
fquires; they were herein inftruaed ia 
the moft cflential duties they were to per- 
form 1 thofe fimple graces and tender feur 
timentS) for which nature ieemed to have 
formed them, were here cultivated in per^ 
feftion.- Courtefy towards perfons in a 
low eflate was ftrongly recommended^ 9fi 
well a^ refpeft to the great ; the. latter^ 
they were taught> claimed it of ri^t» and 
there was no virtue in fhewing it to thenvi 
it was only a ncceflary propriety of cha- 
/after: but humility and tcnderneff. to 
inferiors were teftimonies of agobd^ franks 
and gentle heart, and brought real glory 
to its pofTeiTor. The Chevalier de l» 
Tour, in his Inftrudjtions to hi$ Paughtei;; 
gives an pxample of this amiable deport^ 



ii Memoirs or * 

tnent, in a noble lady whom he faw, in a 
great company of knights and ladies of 
high rank^ who took off her hood to a 
common ironmonger, made him a cour- 
tefy, and rendered herfelf lowly before 
him : being reproached by fome for this 
condefcenfion, *' I would rather have failed 
in courtefy/' replied fhe, '* to an equal or 
fuperior, than be wanting in manners to 
an inferior/' The Chevalier de la Tour, in 
this treatife, advifes his children, among 
other excellent inftrudions, to fpeak 
courtcoufly, but not to talk or laugh too 
much; not to be abfent or inattentive, 
lofty or bold ; *' for no good can enfuc 
from fuch manners," adds he, ** in your 
future lives/* 

The young gentlewomen were taught 
'alfo to anticipate in civility the knights 
who vifited at the cafUes ; to difarm them 
on their return from the tournaments and 
warlike expeditions; to provide them 
chaf^ of garments, and to ferve them at 
table: the examples of which are fo 


Ancient C^ivACRY. .13 

frequent, as not to caufe the Icaft' doubt 
of this cuflomj and- it. was. agreeable to 
the fpirit and the fentiment which wa| 
univerial among women in this age : ftf^ 
to have thofe generous. attentions and c»re8 
conferred by thofe with whom they were 
afterwards to form an alliance, wa$, as it 
were, the feal ©f knighthood. This alfo 
infpired women with fortitude : of which 
a Spanifh lady gave a memorable proof; 
who difarming her hufband, on his return 
from a tournament in which he came off 
vidtor, found a fplinter of a lance remain- 
ing in his leg j «* this fplinter," exclaimed 
(he, " is his glory, and my pride !" Affec- 
tion, and the defire of being the firft to 
affift thefe knights, infpired this noble 
courage ! They wafhed off the duft and 
blood with which they were covered ; and 
they confidcred the doing this^ as an ho- 
nour peculiar to themfelvei. The ancient 
writers of romance relate only the truth, 
when they fay, that the Udies and young 
gentlewomen knew how to give to the 
wounded all the' neceffi^ fuccour that a 


J4 M £• M O t R S OF 

r fiulful a&d experienced hand was capable 
of beftowing: "My brave nephew/' fayi 
one of the heroines, in the romance of Per^ 
cefcireft^ ^* your arm feems to hang in a very 
fineafy pofture." ** By my faith, dear 
lady, and fo it docs," replied Norgul. 
♦• Will you be fo good as to have it 
examined ?"— Then the lady called her 
own daughter, who was named Helainc, 
who fliewed great civility and tcnder- 
nefe to her coufin. Then looking at his 
arm, fhe found it out of its place, and 
Ac managed fo well, that fhe put it in 
again. She then faid, " My coufin, you 
may now go, for you are cured :** at which 
Norgul was marveloufly joyous, and a 
thoufand times he thanked his coufin, but 

. be was in no hurry to take his departure. 

The young man, on emerging from the 
employment of a page, took on him that 
pf a fquire. To give a precife idea of the 
diftindion between a knight and a fquire, 
we muft refer to the metaphorical ufe of 
the word iquirein the French language. 


Ancieiit CmivALRy* 15 

It is there tranfported to agriculture, tx> 
iignify the fucker or young fprig which 
ihoots from the vine: this young (hoot 
would be a very juft emblem of the new 
race reprefent the precious ftem 
from whence it arofe, to re^produce and' 
multiply the fpecies. This word is alA> 
ufed by hunters with equal import to this 
fubjed, fignifying the attachment and fub« 
ordination of the fquire to the knight, 
whofe flcps he follows every where, and 
ohierves his condud, like the young ^g^ 
who follows with tendemefs and con- 
ilancy the old one. 

The fquires'W^rc divided into dififcrcnt 
clafios, $iccording to the employment 
given them. The Body Squire, or he 
who had the care of the things relative 
to the peribn of the lady or the knight ; 
the Squire of the Chamber, or the Cbam^^ 
berlain, to wiiafe care was committed the 
gold and the filver of their mailers : thefe 
officers^ and the Coaiteble> had the charge 


l6 JM £ M O I ft S OF 

of the veilels of gold and iilver ufed at tEe 
tables^ and of delivering them out when 
wanted. . The Gentleman Carver, who 
carved the meat for the guefls ; and the 
Gentleman Butler, who, with the Cup- 
bearer, poured out the wine. The moft ho- 
nourable of all thefe offices was that of the 
perfon called the Body Squire, or the 
5quire of Honour ; he carried his matter's 
ftandard, and gave the watch-word in bat- 
tle. In lefs numerous families 'tis poffible 
a fingle fquire might be charged with 
icveral difFcrejit employnients. 

The education given by the bifliops to 
the young fcholars who were attached to 
them, caufed the parallel made by ancieixt 
authors, of the prelacy with knighthood. 
The latter were the feminaries of thefquirea; 
the former of the young clergy, who held 
the places of readers and fecfetaries to the 
prelate, followed him every where, and 
delivered his letters and his orders. The 
fquire> in his new dignity, approached ilili 


A N C 1 E N t C It I V A L R Y, IJ 

htarer the perfons of his lord and his la- 
dy, and became more afliduous in ftudying 
abd cultivating their afFe<5tion : he helped 
to drefs and undrefs his lord, and always 
attended him, morning and evening, in his 
apartments 4 

It was his employment alfo to (hew to 
the noble ftrangers, the knights, and the 
fquires who came in their than, what was 
then called the Honours ; a method of 
fpeaking ftill preferved, and which figni- 
fies, properly, all the ceremonies of a court, 
of afTemblies, and feftivals i in fine^ he re- 
doubled his attention to appear with all 
the advantages that it was poflible to ob- 
tain from grace of perfon, a prepoffeffing 
addrefs, a polite language, modefty, wif- 
dom, and difcretion in converfation ; ac- 
companied^ however, with a noble eafe and 
liberty of expreflion when occafion re« 
quired it. 

C Thb 


The young fquire had learnt 4 long 
timc^ by fikntobfervation^the ai;l of fpeak- 
i^ ^^lU when^ in the inferior raolg of 
carver, he ftood at all the repaid ^nd^ fefti* 
vals« £:>lely employed in cutting tho. meats 
with a fuitable propriety^ dexterity^ and 
elegance^ and having them diftributed to 
the noble guefb with whom he was fiir* 

JoiMViLL£» in his youths had filled up 
this oipce at the court of St. Louis. In 
the recita) he makes of the great court 
and open houfe thgt St. Louis lield at Sau-- 
mur, in Anjou^ fpeaking of th« new 
knights at the table of the king» he adds^ 
*' At another table before the king, eat the. 
king of Navarr?^ who was dcejSfid in cloth 
of gold^ with a girdlffj 9*.clafpt and a l^cl*- 
nvet, all of fine gc^ld; before whom I car-, 
vcd:-— before St. Louis . the king» theCoust 
d'Artois and his brother fervedthe« meaty 
and the good Count of Soiflbns canred."— ^ 
In the houfes of fovereignst this office was 
9 fometimea 

An Citu^ CHivALkY. 19 

fometimes performed by their own chiK 
dren. The young Count dc Foix carred 
at ithe table of Garfton de Foix,' his father, 
according to Froiflart* ** The Goiint de 
Foix ieated himfelf at table in the hall, 
and Garfton his Ton ferved him with all 
his meats, of which he tailed before he 
prefented them*'* . ^ 

Th? fquires had alfa the cafe of pre- 
paring the table; thev^ brought in the 
meats appointed for each fervice, and took 
care of the pantry and the wine-cellar ; 
they paid continual attention that nothing 
fhould be wanting to the inferior aflift- 
ants ; they gave to waih after the repaft, 
took away the tables, and difpofed every 
thing in its proper order for the aiTem- 
bliiis, the balls, and the other amufements 
that focceeded, in which they bore a part, 
with the young gentlewomen who were ia 
the train of noble ladies j aftef Which 
they ferved Ae fweetmeats and fugar- 
piumhs, the ctairet, or liquor compofedof 
C a wine 

29 Memoirs of 

wine and honey ; the piment, another mix* 
tare of fpices^ wine^ and confedionsi 
alfo burnt wine and hippocras, which was 
a tompound wine, efteemed very delicious* 
Thefe, and other liquors, were always ferv-* 
ed at the end of thefe feafls, and conti^ 
nued to be taken while they were undrefT- 
ing for bed, and were called, * the wine of 
repofe/ an allufion to which is in the 
romance of Gerard de Roufiillon. ** The 
tables being ferved, they fit down to eat 3 - 
after eating they go out to amufe them- 
fclves in the great court ; he who knows 
a fong or a fable, fings or relates it, and the 
knights make a recital of their exploits 
and of their adventures ; with which Ge- 
rard and his guefts are delighted, till the 
cold of the night comes on ; the Count 
then calls for wine, and goes to flecp : in ' 
the morning he rifes with the day, and his 
fquire helps to drefs him." — • The fquires 
made alfo the beds, and accompanied the 
fthmgers to the chambers they had pre- 
pared for them, ferving them with the 


AncfeNt Chivalry. 21 

wine of repofe,— rin ancient times, to give 
the wine of repofe was a privilege attached 
to certain officers in the houfe of the king. 

Froiissart, . who has fucceeded better 
than any of the French hiftorians in'painting 
the manners of his age, has given us, in 
the third volume of his hiftory, a fimple 
and faithful piftur? of the court of the 
Count de Foix, at which he had of- 
ten been, ^Aer d^fcribing the feafts of 
^tjiis lord, ** To fum up all," adds he, 
** before I came to this court, 1 had 
been in many courts of kings, dukes, and 
prinpe^, pf counts and noble ladies ; but 
I w^s never in any court that pleafed me 
fo well, nor where I beheld more joy and 
valour, than in this of the Count de Foix. 
In the halls, in the apartments, in the 
open courts, the knights and fquires of 
honour paiTed and repaffed, and difcourfed 
pf love and of arms. All honour was 
found here; intelligence from every 
country ; there was no kingdom whatfo- 
.evisr from which news was not here ob- 

C 3 tained; 

2£ M E M O I k s o r 

tainedj for from every part of the worM 
they came to behold the worth ^nd vakwoT 
of the good Count de Foix/* 

From the offices of the houfe the 
fquire paffed to another, to \^hich thefe 
Introduced him, which demanded more 
ilrength and ikill ; and this was, the qua*, 
lifying himfelf for huntfmftn, an office in 
high efteem ; and the managen;)rent of the 
horfes | which could not but be a noble 
employment with a warlike nobility, who 
always fought on horfeback. 

The Chevalier Bayard was, placed, by 
the Duke of Savoy, in the hands of a fquirQ 
of good truft, who had the charge of his 
conduft, to inftruft him in this art, The 
fquire was to ke^p the arms of his mailer 
bright as filver, and always ready for u<^ 
at a moment's warning. All theie diffe-p 
rent kinds of domeftic iervices, in which 
the fquire had proper afiiflants, were in- 
termixed with the military fervicei, nearly 


Ancient CtaivAtRv. ij 

the fainc to that which is obfervcd in timi 
of war ; and there was onfc ^omcftic, whci 
iat taidnight always went liis roundB by all 
the ch(tHyber$> and through the courts of 
die caftli* When the lord went into pub-* 
Ikf his f(|uire walked his horfes backward 
and forward in the pavilions and lifts i 
foBie held his ftimftpi others carried the 
di^rent pieces of his armour, his braiTets 
or arm^pieces, his gantlets, his helmet, 
his fhield> his lancet^ his fword, and his 
ftandard : as to his cuirafs or brcaft-piece, 
that could no more be difpenfed with in 
^ knight, than the buckler in the Greek 
or Roman foldier* But when he went to 
ride only, he mounted a cropped, trained, 
ambling courier^ of a reddilh colour, and 
of an eafy and commodious pace. 

Jn this age it y^as confidered as degrad-. 
ing to ufe mares, and they were ailigned 
to plebeians, and prudently refervcd for 
the cultivation of the land, and the mul^ 
tiplication of the fpecies, A good policy 
C 4 was 

24 Memoirs of 

was as mjich the foundation of this rule, 
as that of one of the kings of France i 
who, to fupprcfs luxury, prohibited the 
wearing of golden ornaments to all wo-r 
men but thofe of bad lives. Pcrcefqrcft, 
in his famous romance, defcriptiye of aur 
cient manners, alludes . to this cuftom ; 
fpeaking of a knight in the field, ^* Be- 
hold and fee! in the midft, a young mare 
fo large and ftrong as if it was the war-r 
horfe of the king, and think whether 
this knight could intend it for his fervice! 
Certainly he could not do. a thing fo dif^ 
honourable 5 he muft be a bafe and re-p 
creant knight if he does, and no knight 
of valour, or who loves his honour, will 
jouft ortryfwords with him, any more than 
they would with a madman or a beggar.' - 

WAR-horfcs, which were of a peculiar 
fize, were led in the march by fquires 
on the right hand, as Perceforeft relates : 
*^ Then came my Lord Gauvain, and two 
fquires, one of whom led his courfer on 


Amciemt Chivalry. 2j 

the right hand, and carried his fword', and 

the other his helmet and his fhield. When 

he enteri^ the foreft, he met four fquirea^ 

who led four white fteeds on their right 

hands and further, a page, who rode a 

ftrong horfe, of a rqddifh colour, ajid led 

a black courfer. in his right hand/* The 

fquires gave thefe led hqrfes to their 

IBafters when the enemy appeared, or 

when danger called him to the battle; 

gnd this was called^ ^ mounting the great 

horfe,' a term flil) in ufe, as well as that of^ 

•? a word and a blow,' taken from the fierpe 

countenance with which the fquire, whp 

followed his lord to the fight, carried h^s 

helmet fixed on the pommel of his 

faddle. This, and all the other parts of 

his armour, were put on the knight by the 

difiereqt fquires, who carried them with 

the niped care and the moft refpedful 

attention ; and thus they learnt to arm 

themfelvcs for the fafety of their perfons 

^h^i) occafio{i required. 


26 Memoirs o# 

This was an art which demanded 
ismph /kill, and a particular dexterity; 
to fix and clafp the joints of (lie cuiraf^ 
«t)d the other pieces of arinoiitr ; to iettlc 
*xa^y and to lace tfa« helcnet on the 
liead ; and aboye alU to clpfe a^d clench 
together with the niceft evennefs the viifojr 
or face-piece. The accident whiph hap* 
pened to Henry the Second> who was 
wounded in the fzQC in a iingle combat, 
which was the caufe of his death, was 
probably owing to negligence in this 
point; and the fuccefs and fafetyof every 
combatant depended on the eyadii^fs with 
yrhich he was armed. 

The officers charged with thehelmetj^ 
laftce, isind fword, took them alfo when 
the knight put them off to enter into a 
church, or other facred place, and on his 
entrance into the caftles of the nobles. 
*^ Gerard de Rouflillon," fays Peter de 
Monrabey, ** arriving at the caftle of RouA 
lUIon, enters it over the firft bridge: 



-iSkxt kmig^ts run to meet him in the pi^ 
lu^sa imder tbp belfrey ; he commits hi« 
iword to 'his fcjiuire^ and thep enters the 
i^rcb and prays/* The cuftom of taking 
gS the Jiehnet on fuch occafions, poSibly 
gave riie to that of uncovering the head^ 
now in tf fe in places and before perlbns 
^f peculiar facredneis or dignity, 

lMMEpiATiSi'7 when the knights had 
0M>unted their war-horfes, and thecngage^ 
nient was begun^ each fquire, who oa the 
march had preceded them onreddifh hprfes^i 
now drew back, an^t ranged behind their 
maftef Sy to whom they had giveo the fword, 
remained in fome meaiure idle ipedators of 
the combat, And this cuilom was fuitable 
to the method in whigh the troops of ca-t 
valry were ranged in battle ; for fighting 
in fquadrpns was fcarcely begiui in France 
in the age of thofe great generals Montlue 
an^ La Noue, or, a$ they then expreffed 
it, fighting in hoft, Iii vain did they re-^ 
prefent the nepeffity of Kformii^ the an-t 
cient djftom^ Th? advantage gained in 


zt Memoirs of 

the battle of Coutras, in 1587, by the 
troops of Henry the Fourth over thofe 
of Henry the Third, and thofe of Chatilr 
)on over the Leaguers, in 1589, in the 
battle of Bonneval, near Chartres, had 
, more effeft than the opinion of thofe gve^t 
makers in the taiftic art. ^^ Charles the 
Fifth wa,s the firft,*' fays LaNoue, ^* v^hp 
formed his cavalry into fquadrons or 
hofts ; and from that time the Spaniards, 
Italians, Germans, and Burgundians, have 
adopted this cuftom/' 

During the combat, the fquire, tho' 
an idle fpe£lator in one fenfe, was not £b 
in another : in the terrible fhock of the 
two lines of knights, who, with their 
lances bent, fell headlong on each other ^ 
fome, wounded or overthrown, rofe up 
again, pulled out their fwords, their axes, 
their clubs or maces, to defend and re- 
venge themfclves 5 and others fought to 
profit from and t^e an advantage of their 
pnenyes who were overthrown. In thefe 


Angiekt Chivalry. 2^ 

iAfhnces>each fquirc was attentive tb every 

motion of his mafter j the one to give him, 

in cafe of accident, new arms, to ward off 

the ftrokes aimed at him, to raife him up 

when he fell, and give him a new horfe j 

^"^^hile the other feconded his mailer, by 

ry means his (kill, his valour, and his 

1 could fuggeft, and aided him, though 

.ways within the ftrift bounds of the dc- 

fenfive, to profit from his advantages, and 

gain a compleat vidtory. 

This cuftom was afterwards limited to 
kings, who alone had their attendant 
fquires; but was laid afide alfo with 
them> and did not fubfift in the time of 
Brantomc ; who thus fpeaks : '* I have 
heard the old captains fay, that formerly^ 
by am ancient rule in the battles, the firft 
and nobleft fquires of the kings of France 
were accuilomed to be always near them, 
and never quitted their fidc; but they 
only warded oflF the blows levelled at 
their mafters, nor employed themfelves in 


aught beikiesz as did (J&y they) tkit 
brave and nob]« fq^uire^ St. Seyerinr^ at the 
battle of Pavia^ who died at the fide of 
king Francisv ^i^ his* yaliant deeds much 
bonottred and praifed by his king/* 

It waa alfo to the fquirte^ that the 
knights confided^ in the heat of the bat^ 
tle^ the priiboers they took4 This fyet^ 
tacle, which was a living leflbn of ad-« 
drefs and courage^ repreien ting continually 
to the young warrior new methods of de- 
fence^ and becoming fuperior to the ene* 
^^ S^^^ him the means^ at the fame time^ 
of proving his own valour, and of judg^ 
ing whether- he was capable of fuAaining 
lb mai^ labours and perils* Thus, a- 
Weak and inexperienced youth vns not 
ekpofed to bear theheavy toil and burtheft 
of war^ without having learnt, long before^ 
whether his ftrength and his talents were 
equal to fuch a diarge« 


Ancient Chivalry. jx 

But the fquire pafled not immedittely 
from a peaceful fervice, to fuch perilous 
encounters. The courts and the caftles 
were fchools where the young warriors 
were formed, who were deftincd for the 
fervice and defence of the ftate ; laborious 
games were here praftifed^ in which the 
body acquired flexibility, agility, and the 
vigour fo neceflary in battle; running at 
the ring^ courfes of hoffes and of lances^ 
prepared for thofe tournaments, which 
were only fiunt iniages of war* 

The account given by the hiilorian of 
the life of Boucicout, proves how labo- 
rious thofe exercifes were by which the 
youth, formed to fatigue and hardihip, 
were prepared for war. *^ Sometimes 
(iays the hiftorian, fpeaking of young 
Boucicout) he attempted to leap on a 
hpde, armed from head to foot ; at other 
timc6 he ran as far and as fail as he could^ 
to accitftom himfelf to take long br^th^ 
and. to, (nffet much fatigue ^ then hd 


^i MkMOlRS ot 

would wield the ax in different ways, afaci 
ftrikc the ball with the mallet. To inurd 
himfelf to arniour,and to accuftom his arms 
to move eafily under its weight, he madd 
fuddeii jumps, armed with all his parts of 
armour, and danced in a coat of mail—- 
vaulted, without fetting his foot in the 
ilirrup, on a courier, armed at all points-^ 
vaulted behind a Warrior on his war-horfe, 
only holding by the warrior's arm with 
one hafad— placing one hahd on the faddle- 
bow of a war-horfe, and the other between 
his ears, he feized him by the mane, and 
vaulted over him as he moved along in 
the open field. If two walls of plaiftef 
Were at fix feet diftance^ the height of a 
tower, by fl:rength and ikill he would mount 
to the top of one, and leap to and come 
down the other, without flip ot fall ; alfo 
he would afcend a ladder fet againfl: the 
higheft wall, without touching it with his 
feet, but leaping with two hands from one 
ftep to the other, armed with a coat of 
brafs armour : and when ]j^e vrz$ at home^ 


ANbiENt Chivalry. ^3 
life attempted to throw the lance, of per- 

fdrm other arduous feats of war." 

This recital may appfeat roiriaiitit: to 
thofe who are not informed of the ancient 
cuftoms; but to prove its reality; they 
need only have recourfe to the Memoirs of 
Sully ; where we fee the account of the 
exercifes in which Henry the Fourth was 
continually occupied, mofe than two 
centuries after the time of Boucicaulfjj 
While Hfenry livedo he kept up in his 
court the ancient fpirit of Chivalry, by 
the model he prefetited continually, in his 
own condudti to the eyes of his warriors. 

Wfe fee by this accbuht, that thofe who 
afpired to knighthood were to unite iti 
fhemfelves, all the ftrength fequifite to 
the moft laborious trades, with all the 
genius and addrefs proper for the moft 
ikilful artsj land the talents neceflary for 
excelling in horfemanfhip and war. It is 
therefore the lefs furprifing to behold the 

D title 

34 Memoiks op 

title of fquire held in fo much honour^ 
that it has been given to the eldeft; fon of 
one of the kings of France, as we learn 
from the letters of Charles the Eighdi 
and his queens, and thofe of Monfieur and 
Madame de Beaujeau, in which they fpeak, 
of the dauphin under the title of a 

On thefe accounts it was, not without 
reafon, they miftrufled paternal tendernefs, 
which would perhaps have foftened too 
much fuch rigorous proofs of courage 
and labour in a domeilic education : hence 
a knight was led to place his fon in the 
houfe of another knight, fuperior to him- 
felf perhaps in valour, though nqt in rank, 
to learn the office of a fquire, and to ac- 
quire the knowledge and. vigour neccffary 
to knighthood.. It was from this motive 
Antoinc de Chabanne was firft admitted 
into the houfe of the Count de Vcntadour^ 
and afterwards into that of La Hire ; and 
it was not till he came out o£ thefe fchools. 

... 7 a£ 

Ancient Chivalry. ^5 

bf war, that he was made commander in 
chief of the government of Greil-fur- 

An author^ who had long borne arms; 
lived in the court; and feeri Chivalry flou- 
rifti in the reign of Charles the Fifths 
lamenting its decay under Charles the 
Sixth, gives an account OjJF the caufes 
which contributed to its original fplen- 
dor. " The yoiith (fays he) pafTed atfirft 
throiigh the ftation of purfuivants, carry- 
ing the lance of the knights, learning td 
ride the great horfe^ and being introduced 
to the three profeffions of arms ; that isj 
the frequenting the courts of the princes 
of their owh ilatiori— -following the ar- 
miesi from whence came the name of pur- 
fuivant at arms— and goin^^j in time of 
peace; on voyageis, or with meffages, to dif- 
tant countries^ to accjuire more experience 
in arms and in tournaments^ and to difco- 
iver the manners of foreign lafads ; from 
whence they learnt courtcfy, the art of 
D 2 defente. 


36 Memoirs a f 

jdcfericc, and tilting in particular, not Cmj^ 
perficially, bnt in the moft perfed man-» 
ner. To this end, they minutely obferved 
every thing that pafled, and had pocket- 
books, in which they wrote down 
the moft remarkable feats and circum- 

Ir cannot be doubted, but that the la- 
dies who were fped:ators of the games of 
the young nobility, affifted at the exer- 
cifes of the fquires : but it appears that 
they did not, in the moft ancient times, 
affift at the tournaments ; yet at laft, the 
terror of feeing bloodfhed, gave way, ia 
the;Jbiearts of this tender fex, to the fenti- 
ments of glory; they then repaired in 
crowds to the tournaments; and this, 
therefore, was the cpocha of their celebrity 
and perfcftion. 

The evening before the tournament was 
celebrated, there was a kind of tilting^ 
called * effays on proof,' or * vefpers of the 

tournaments >' 

Ancient Chivalry. 37 

tournaments 5' in which the moft fkilful 
fquires attacked each other with lighter 
arms, — arms eafier to manage than thofe of 
the knights ; eafier to break, and lefs dan* 
gerous for thofe who were wounded with 
them. .It is faid, in the letter of Lewis 
the Twelfth, that '' in the tilting at the 
marriage of M. d'Alen9on, the lances 
were fmall ones, on account of the young 
princes who were to tilt at this ccre^ 

These vcfpers, or evening effays, were 
the prelude of the grand fpejftacle, called 
' the mafter tournament, the high and 
glorious day of the tournament/ in which 
the braveft and the moft Ikilful knights 
were to exhibit the next day, before an 
innumerable multitude of fpeiftators of all 
forts. Thofe of the fquires who were 
the moft fignalized in the firft tourna- 
ments, and who had carried off the prize, 
gccj^uired, fometinies, the right to figure in 
^he fccond among the illuftrious order of 
D 3 knights, 

38 Memoir? op 

knights, obtaining hereby the honour of 
knighthood : but this mixture of knights 
and fquires introduced at length naany 
abufes ill Chivalry, and caufed it to dege^ 
nerate ; the fquires ufurping, fucceiSvely 
and by degrees, the honours and diftinc^ 
tions which belonged only to the knights. 

Every kind of fcirvice rendered to a 
knight, might merit, from his kipd ac- 
knowledgiTient, the favour of being armed 
by his hand with the badge of knight- 
hood ; hut the fervice done near his per- 
son, and in his houfe, in the ilation of 
fquire, during a courfe of years, gave him. 
the more certain right to hope for this 
reward. There was, however, fometimes, 
danger from ferving fome knights too well, 
who becoming more interefted in the ad- 
vantages they received, in their own per- 
fons, from their fquires, than folicitous for. 
their honour, continually deferred beftow- 
ing this mark of their favour, that they 
might not lofe the value of their fervice. 


Ancient Chivaljiy. 39 

Some authors have faid^ that the ladies 
had power to confer knighthood : and of 
this there is an inftance in the hiftory of Du 
Guefclin, that Jane de la Val, widow of 
the Conftable, girded the fword her huf- 
band had worn on Andrew de la Val, af-^ 
terwards marechal of France, when very 
young, and made him a knight : there is 
alfo an example, as will be feen, of a queen 
conferring this honour : but thefe are only 
(ingalar inftances, and do not prove the 
abdve obfervation. 

The profytSt of this great honour im-r 
prefled fentiments fo noble and elevated, 
and gave rife to actions fo daring and he- 
roic^ as almoft to exceed the ideas of mere 
humanity ; and thus the fquire was fully 
repaid for his fervices to his fbvereign and 
to his country. 

The age of twenty-one, was that in 

which the youth, after fo many proofs of 

vak>ur, might be admitted to th^ honour 

D 4 of 

49 Memoirs of 

of knighthood. But this rule of beinff 
admitted to knighthood from fuch fcr- 
vices, was not always obfcrved ir> the cafe 
of every iijdxvidual ; birth giving to the 
princes of the blood in the French na-; 
lion, and to all fovereigns, explufive pri- 
yileges of fuperiority. ** The fons of .the 
kings of France (fays Monftfelet) arc 
knights at the font of baptifm, being re- 
garded as the chiefs of knighthood ; they 
receive, froqa the cradle, the fword, whicl^ 
is to be the fign thereojf ; and it is in con- 
formity with this idea they are inverted, 
as foori as they are born, with the ribboi^ 
pf the order of the Holy Ghoft, 

The queen of Charles the Fifth being 
t)rought to bed, in 137 1, of a fecond fon, 
who was afterwards Duke of Drlcans^ 
the Conftable Guefclin, hi? fecond godr 
father, immediately after the ceremony of 
baptifm, drejv his fword, and putting it 
quite naked into the hand of the little 
child^ who was alfo nake^i faid to him-^ 


Ancient Chivalry. 4]^ 

f ' My lord, I give you this fword, and 
f^ I put it into your hand; and I pray Cod 
5* to give you fo good and valiant a hearty 
f^ that you may prove as worthy and re* 
** doubted a knight, as was the king of 
.'^ France, who wore this fword. ^' 

f* The child alfo of whom the Duchefi 
pf Burgundy lay-in, was made a knight 
(fays Monftrelet) at the font, and named 
Charles by his father, who created him 
Count deCharolois." '' Charles the Fifth, 
the grandfon of this Charles, was only a 
year and a half old when he received the 
order of the Fleece," fays Brantome : and 
Francis the Firft made his grandfon, the 
fon of Henry the Second, knight at the 
font. In like manner the Chevalier 
Bayard, when at Moulins, vifited the 
Duke of Bourbon, who honoured and ca- 
f effed him, and befought him to make his 
eldeft fon a knight, who was yet in his 
nurfe's and governefs's care ; faying, ** It 
was the greateft honour that his fon could 


42 M E M O I R $ O F 

receive in the world ; and that it would 
be an augury of good fortune to his future 
life.'* The Chevalier Bay^ird very will- 
ingly granted what the Duke defired- 

It was not only to the fons of princes^ 
or on fome peculiar occafions, that knight- 
)iood was obtained before the age of twen- 
ty-one, prefcribed by the ancient laws; 
a peculiar degree of merit and genius in 
attaining the necefTary qualifications, of- 
ten gained this prize in early life ; as was 
the cafe of Vidame de Chartres, who re- 
ceived it very young by or4er of the 
king ; as did Foulqucs, Count of Anjou, 
at feventeen, from his uncle Geoffrey, 
The regular age was, however, twenty- 
one I for though the minority of the no- 
bles ended at feventeen, becaufe they were 
then judged ftrong enough, and fufficiently 
qualified, for the culture of their lands^ 
the mechanic arts, and commerce, in 
which they were all employed ; yet the 
profefiion of arms demanded an ability 


^d ftrength, not to be acquired till the . 
age of twenty-one ; and this extended tp 
jhofe nobles whofe only profeflion was z 
military life : their majority was fixed at 
that age, as well as the obligation to acr 
cept a duel> and the admiflion to knight- 
hopd. Some fquires deferred accepting this 
honour, that it niight be conferred by 
fome knight at a . diftance ; others, till 
they had warred againft the infidels ; and 
fome who were of age, deferred the ob- 
taining knighthood, from the great ex- 
pences ;t drew on them, and the obliga- 
tions contrafted by the folemn oath they 
were then to take. 

We will now paufe a moment, and 
then proceed to the creation of our knight, 
and to the auguft ceremony of the touma- 



44 Memoirs o9 


Of the creation of the Knight y and grand 
fpe£iacle of the Tournament. 

HAVING viewed the young maa 
in the ftations of Page and Squire, 
we will now accompany him to the glori- 
ous prize of Knighthood he is on the point 
of obtaining in the Tournament. But 
firft, it will be proper to remark, the rank 
he holds in the military fervice, the power 
it gives him of conferring knighthood on 
others, and the magnificence of the feafts 
at which the auguft ceremony of Knight- 
hood is celebrated. 

The rank of a knight in battle gave 
him the fame pre-eminence as that of a 
doftor in fcience. An ancient French ma- 


Ancient Chivali^y. ^^ 

ntifcript fays, ^* both lords and laws a 
knight precedes :" But the real ftate of at 
knight, was the command of a thoufand 
men ; each knight had this number under 
him, according to Euftache Defchamps— 

** T6e knight is chofen among a thoufand 
'' as the bejir 

And in the Proven9al manufcript of Ge- 
rard de Rouffillon, King Charles concludes 
his lamentation on the ingratitude of a 
knight, in thefe terms : ** Thus hath he 
treated me, who have brought him up 
from childhood, till he was in a lituation 
to have a thoufand men under his com-, 

It was in the eleventh century the 
kingdom of France was releafed from 
the troubles into which it had been 
plunged, after the extinftion of the fecond 
race of its kings. The royal authority, 
began then to be refpcdted ; ftatutes were 


46 Memoirs or 

formed ; laws for citizens and the c6mi 
mon people were inftitutcd ; and the ficft 
acquired a more regular form and order 
from the nature of that inveftiture> ac- 
knowledged in the ceremonies and homage 
of Chivalry : ** Its origin (fays LeLaboti-^ 
fcur) appears to take its rife in thefe fiefs/* 
From political views of the fovereigns^ 
and of the higher ba^jpns, they wifhed^ 
ao doubts to bind fafter the bonds of feo- 
dality^ by adding to the ceremony of ho-^ 
mage> that of giving arms to their young 
vaiTals in the firft expeditions to which 
theyihould lead th^m > and perhaps after- 
wardsy by conferring thefe arms on other 
perfons^ who offered to ferve them froa> 
affedtion, or the pure defire of glory^ they 
might acquire new warriors^ who fliould 
be ready to follow them on etery occafion^ 
flot like the feudatories^ for a limited por- 
tion of time; Atf every knight had the 
right of making knights^ they faw^ with^ 
out jtalouiy, their lord patamount make 
tt£r of the power^ in the honour of which 


Ancient Chivaliiy. 47 

they participated. It is faid^ in the cbro- 
nicle of St. Denys, that Philip, the fon 
of Philip le Bel, king of France, havings 
at the feaft of Pentecoft, made his three 
fons, Lewis^ Philip, and Charles, knights^ 
thefe princes conferred this honour on four 
hundred knights : and Malcolm king of 
Scotland, who accompanied Henry king 
of England to the dege of Thouloufe, be- 
ing made a knight by that prince, created 
en the fpot thirty other knights. 

There were ftronger inducements to 
be armed a knight, than the ierving a 
fief :— The obtaining this honour from the 
hands of a prince or great lord— the noble 
£e3L&8 given by the lords to the knights and' 
to their goefts, at many of which, par- 
ticularly at the full court held at Rimini, 
to arm the lords of the houfe of Mala- 
tefta, fo great was the fplendor, that they 
counted fifteen hundred comedians and 
mountebanks affembled there— thp dif- 
tribution which was made of robes, of 


48 M fe M d i R s 6P 

favoiirs, of coftly furs, of rich and pfe^ 
dous fluffs, of fumptuous mantles, which/ 
lined with thcfe coftly furs, were referved 
iblely for the knights ; — the arms, thcr 
jewels, and the prefents of every kind^ 
without excepting either gold or filver^ 
iVhich were beftowed in profufion, and 
the expence of which, vaft as it appears/ . 
was entirely defrayed by the lord who 
ihade the feaft-^in fine, the defire of ap- 
pearing worthy of being thus fignalized— ^ 
were more powerful motives to thcfe new- 
created knights, than the obligation ex- 
acted from thofe of feudatory rank.- 

As many writers find a refemblance 
between the forms of knighthood and 
thofe of feudal inveftiturc ; fo all agree in 
the fimilitude between the former and 
the ceremonies of the church in the ad-^ 
miniftration of the facraments. In the 
former, the white habit and the bath^ an^^ 
fwcred to the forms of baptifm : the ftroke 
on the neck, and the embrace given on 


Angiert Chivalry. 49 

Iftmg made a knight^ to the forms ufed 
in confirmation : and the word • efpoufe,*' 
which fome have ufed to exprefs the dub- 
biAg or arthing ^ knight^ and the kifs 
given him .when armed, was the indica* 
tion. of marriage^ Chivalry was indeed 
confidered as a £icred ordination and a 
facerdotal engagement) and the knight who 
entered this order from any temporal view^ 
was judged guilty of fimony* 

. A s the godfather made prefents to the 
child whom h^ held at the font ; fo the lord 
or knight who conferred knighthood, was 
to prefent fome diilindk gift, and to grant 
fome peculiar favour, to the knight he cre- 
ated* This was the cuftom, fays Lancelot 
de Lac ; accordingly the knight whom 
Galeadhadjuft armed, prayed him to grant 
to his requeft, the firft favour he ihould 
afk; which, in the Uke cafe, is never re- 
fufed, if the petition is not unreafonable 
for the giver, or prejudicial to the receiver. 
Galead promifed to comply ; and the young 
knight bcfought he would permit him X9 

s: be 

50 Memoirs or 

be of his train in the expedidon on which 
he was going. 

: SoM& ttuthors have fo entirely united 
the priefthoed and knighthood^ as to men'^ 
tion^ that celibacy was as efiential to 
knights as to prieds. For theif juftifica** 
tiOn it miLjr be obierved^ that^ carried 
9way by a pious zeaU they thought they 
could not too much exalt an order^ to 
which the prefervation of the Chriftiaa 
faith Was confided^ tiftd which was eal». 
culated to procure fuch glorious advan^ 
tages from the defenders of it, to religk)n> 
to the ftate, and to fociety* 

We will Jiow proceed to the prelimi«« 
nary ceremonies which prepared theknighl 
for the facred fword of Chivalry. Aw(br« 
fafts J whole nights pafied in prayers with 
ft prieft and godfether, in the churches *? 
duipelis ; the facraraents of penance, coh* 
fcffion, and of tlic eucharift, received with 
the vtoaoft devotio*^; bathings, whtch 


Ancient- CtttVALkV. $1 

Cgoified the parity of manners necefiarj 
in tfai ftate of Chivalry i and White ha^^ 
bitSy in inntadon of the ne^phyteB^ or 
new cdn^erts, as another fynihol of the 
Aoie pudty (and tiiis was a cnffcom fbr^ 
merly uied by the kings and queens of 
Gttat^Brltain, on the evening of their co^ 
ronation) ; a ikicere acknowledgment of 
all die faults of his life 5 a (erious atten^ 
tion to iermons^ in which were expUuned 
the principal articles of faith/ afid of 
ChriftiaA morals :-^«^11 thefe duties of pre^- 
f>aration were to be perforiti6d| in the moft 
devout manner^ by the young man pre**- 
irioM to his bdng armedi, 

TttX pioits ctiftom of pafUng whole 
nights in prayer (which was called ^ the 
vigil of jttou/) hffii been obferved^ fron 
the rtmoteft times^ in judidutry duds, or 
4ditels of proof. Ademtf de Chabmnois 
fpeaks of a combat of thia fort^ in his La^ 
tin chronidb^^ Tlie yi&otiotts cham-« 
pionhiiringTecQiVfldiio wound, wmt ott 
E t, foot 

52 . M E M o' I 11 a . o p 

foot immediately^ to return thanks to God 
at the tomb of St. Cebar, where he had 
watched the preceding night." And in 
the order of Chivalry it is faid— ** When 
the good knight receives the naked fword» 
he kifles the crofs as he receives it ; by 
fbme this is done at the holy fepulchre^ 
for the love and honour of our Lord ; by 
others, at the tomb of St. Catharine, or 
at other holy places of devotion. The 
young man then bathes ; after which, 
cloathed in white apparel, he is to watch 
all night in the church, and remain there 
in prayer. till after the celebration of high 
mafs. The communion being then re- 
ceived, the young man, with his hands 
joined and held up towards heaven, to 
which alfo his eyes wtre fblemnly di^ 
redted, after the prieft celebrating mafs 
had paffcd the fword over his neck and 
blefled it; went and knelt at the feet of the 
lord who was to arm him. The lord 
afkedhim, * with what intent he defired 
to «itcr into that facred order, and If his 


Ancient Chivalry. JF53 

wicwB tended only to the maintenance and 
the honour of religion and of knight- 
hood?' The young man made a fuitablc 
reply ; and the lord^ after having received 
his. oath, gave him the dubbing, or three 
^rpkes on the neck with the flat end of 
the^fword, and. girded on him the golden 
^wprd. This auguft fcene pafTed fome- 
times ih a hall, or in the court of a pa- 
jace or a caftle, or, in time of war, in 
the open fipld," 

The defire of riches, of rcpofe, and of 
being, honoured, were efleemed not only 
infuffi^^ent, but unworthy motives in this 
facred engagement. The fquire who was 
•vain^glorious, or a flatterer, was alfo cx- 
duded J for fuch foment thdfe corruptibns, 
.which the knight is engaged to mot out 
And deftroy. Nor were any to be admitted 
.into this order, wTio were lame, or who 
had any other corporal defeiSl or weaknefs, 
vfiiich fhould render him unqualified for 
cthe . profeflion of arms, however rich, 
E 3 noblc^ 

54 MsMoiRs or 

DobU, or courageoui he might ediefwMb 
be. The figure^ aifj aod phyfiognonya 
were confidere4 aa of great; import ^ and 
that ftrength of conditutioi that flipiild 
enable the knight to exert himfelf* with 
ardour^ for the mainten^ce of good oisder, 
wherever he was ilationed^ by a li^rioua 
attention to^ and . expertpeis in all €h# 
works relative to war: he was alfo en* 
joined^ on immediate notfice from his 
prince, to be ready to go forth tc> punifli 
or appeafc the difcord^ of the people^ 
Agreeable to thiS) PercefiDtei); relates; that 
king Peleon^ when he armed hif ibna and 
his nephews knights, fpake dius tQ them 4 
«* Whoever Vfill enter. into a^y iacred ort? 
der, whether that of religion^ of oeuuvt 
page, or of knighthood, ougjit firft to 
purge his confcien^e, and cleanib hi^ he^rt 
from every vi^e^^ and fill and adorn it witl^ 
every yirtue ; an4 charge bioi&lf with the 
^reateft <^are to accomplifli owiy thing hig 
js cofnooanded ^ do in tl^e profbfian hp 


AnCFEIIT CHflVAiltY. ^55 

takes upon hlqa : in oAo word^ he muft b6 
without reproach/' ^ 

' Whbm the I>uke of BurgiiBdy^ (kys 
Monftrelet, held the fti^ of the' Goldeil 
Fleece, the Duke of Alen9on got a knight 
CO affift at it in htt place, being Ihkn^elf a 
pri(bner> fncmia decree given agaSnft him^i 
end though at this aflfemblf ^ire oug^t til 
have been no knights, or proxies' 'for 
knights, but fuch as were without re^ 
proach, the Duke of Burgundy fii^dl-ed 
It^ becauie he believed the Dukaof Alen^ 
^on a man of honour, unjuftly condemned, 
en4 to whofe condemnation ishe.^had not 
given his confent. Several knights haye 
merited this noble diilindtion, that they 
were without iipproachs fuchas^u.Guef- 
clin, Barbafan, Louis de k| Tirimouille^ 
Ba^di «<id t^e brave Chevalier d'Au- 
mont, ii^ko died in 15955 to whom M.* 
4e Thou randera this glorious teftipiony : 
^^ He was io highly efteemed* in th« par- 
^ both of the king and of the league, 
E 4 that 

^^ .MsMoiRa or 

that if it had been now a ^Ueftion to find 
a knight without reproach^ as it was in 
the days of our forefathers, all the world 
would hav^ caft their eyes On the brave 
iMid vif tuous Aumontt" 

The ladies and young gentlewomen 
fometimes a0ifted at the arming of % 
Jcnight* ^' A knight going to the combat 
(£iys Don Flores of Greece) was aimed 
by a young lady^ who with her delicate 
hands faftened and laced on his armour; 
you may guefs how patiently he demeaned 
himfdf in receiving this lignal favour 
from her^ in whoqi his life was wrapped 

The inanner of arming was, firft to 
put on the fpUrs, then the coat of mail, 
the euirafs, the braflets, and the gante^. 
lets; and then the lord or knight gaye the 
dubbing, and girded on the fword, in the 
maqner abpve Tfht^d ; th< laft was the 


Anciemt Chivalht. 5y 

shoft honduiable badge of Chivalry, and 
a fymbol of the labour the knight was to 
encounter. As the jpung Lancelot had 
been fbi^otten among the great number 
who received the fword from the hand of 
king Artu6^ the Queen beftowed one on 
liim, and he then became a knight^ aiid 
ihe champion of that princcfs. The 
lord or knight, on the girding on. of the 
iwjord, pronounced thefe words, or fome 
that were iimilar:?^^^ In the name cf 
Cod, of St« Michael, and 8t. Georges 
I ma)ce thee knight ;*' to .which were 
foQietimes added, '^ be brave, hardy, and 
loyal." Saintre going to combat againft the 
infidels in Pruflia, prayed the king of Bo- 
hemia to grant him knighthood in the 
name of God, bur Lady, and my Lord 
of St. Denys. There was. yet. wanting, 
to compldte the equipage of a koight, the 
helmet, the fhield, and th^ laace ^ which 
they gave him: then thfey brought a 
}iorie, which he mounted oft^n without 



a» bflp of a ftirrap. To Aew off in 
aew cUgoity and fkill, he curvetod naoad, 
dbftiag his Ubcb, and hnndifhing Ids 
gliftcarihg fwocdi iboa altar vhick.^ 
|mndkd» tn die fame eq«i|»je» kn oiu «f 
the ptUilie fquaces, thatltnilgbt be kijpv* 
to aU hft was nuuie ako^ht^osfdiAg Itt 
the order of Chivalry : and to iofpin hi^ 
with n hij^r fffidfl of tba efaaraiSberrM 
•was about toh fuAain^ and a decad of .oora* 
mitttng an^4vil that-&«ild inllj and dif» 
gr^ce it, .h« ina t^ make a circuit cteM 
the city, ^and'diew hUik|bif to th$ poopU 
at their gvtardiao imd defoodtr, 


of a j^bii^ man, whom tl» iung AkSWP^ 
ifof ka4 jizft ma^ akoight, .Mi wHq wits 
tMn l€#r alo^e at the entrance of a foteft, 
^^ He UMDibed up apd dqwn,. aoii (bought 
Pfithin kim6lf, '' It i$ a fine thing to hi 
made a hmght !" andhr curveted his 
horfe, ftretched out his iUrcupt olp&d 
hh fhield to his fide^ and fought to be 


foniliar widi hit mrap aims ; he thea takei 
out his fword, and begins. to tura it. round 
and rounds and point it as in a fencing* 
Immi^' or trt^^^f flc$t|> letehing it compzCs 
a^at A tottii)«diieoi<^ and %ih]^ to himfelf^ 
♦^ N(wr n»y^J^ wouW be compleat^ if I 
^cMH but fin^ one to tilt ^th» that I might 
tfee if I co^ld bear proof." After this he 
boldly fpurs his horfc, and bounds round 
the foreft fo joyous, and fo ardently de- 
finius of a j"Quft, that if he had not feared 
f» (houW* ihiver his lapcc in pieces, he 
%wiM h*ve- tiHed'at the firft ttce he came 
tot and thus circuited he the'fbreft till 
the time of the evening vcfpcrs/' And in 
^»other plac^,* ** As foon as Ae kfng had 
tna^e then) knights they mounted, atl 
armed as they were, on their horfes, 
their fliields pendent from their negks, 
and their fwords grafped iri their hands. 
|n this manner they fpurred thf ir horfes 
found ^e meadow fo cleverly aad brifkly, 
ihz% the king, and Caffiel the fulton, and 
^e ki^ights \flio w?rc prpfent, declared, 


6o Ms.M o I k s or 

0000 could (hew them&l?cs more expert 
in fests.of arms. 

Chivalry w^ pne of the three qirdert 
belonging to the^ftate. According. to. Jou« 
vcBcaJU ^^ the I^oight was ^; the body po* 
liticj, what the arms are to the hiunaft 
body I'^tbc} churqh/V fays' he^ <* isi the 
bead of the man; Chivalry is her asmas 
«nd the oitizens^ merchants, zp^ labourer 
crs> are his inferior meniber&:-*-the arms,i" 
&ys he, " are placed in the naiddle» to 
render them equally capable^ of defending 
the head or the churchy from whom they 
derive their pQwer, and the iijiferiof metHf 
bers^ (whofe judges th^ alfo afe by the 
adminiilration of }uftice)'a9d who contrite 
bute to . their ©ouriihnvenl;," . 

It appears, that the creation of a knight 
'was at the fame time celebrated by the 
acclamations of the people; who eagerly 
fought^ by leaping and dances formed a- 
round him, to exprefs the jjoy they felt ft 


A li C I E'N.T C H I V A L It y. 6i 

the acquifition of a new benefa£tor : and at ^ 
the creation of fevcral knights together, 
they poffibly united to caracole in meafare^ 
and to mix their dances with thofe of th# 
people who furrounded them; and tfais^ 
might be the origin of thofe feftivals or 
ballets on horfeback, of which there are 
fome examples in the hiftory of Fraiice, 
and . which were danced at the courts in 
the time of Brantome andof Baflbmpierre, 
who give a very minute account of thefe 
feftivals or ballets^^ as danced before 
Henry the Fourth.— —All thefe cerecoo-* 
iiies'y accompanied with prayers and form«, 
which are ftill to be found in the ancient 
. rituals of France, though they were fub- 
jed, at different periods, to augmentations 
and retrenchments, yet evidently (hew 
what idea was attached to the inftitution [ 
of a- knight, and what means they env* 
ployed to make him feel the extent and 
the fandtity of his engagement; which 
he could never violate without rendering 
hiqafelf guilty of perjury and facrilege. 
^ - It 


6i Memoirs op < 

It may be preAtmed aifo, of ^ the piety df 
the ancient khights^ that thejr filentfy 
renewed thek vow at the great feaftl^ 
perhaps whenever they Went to mafs; and 
that ilanding Up whea the gofpel was 
read or fung^ they. took the fword into 
their hfimd» atid held it with the point 
lipward^ to mark the continual difpofition 
they wene in. to defend the &ith* It iSy 
withoat doubts from this ceremony, that 
the emperors » at certain fraAs^ held their 
XMked. fwords in their hands while they 
fung the gofpel i and- this pious cuftom 
Itill fubfifta among the Polif h gentlemen. 

Ikj>£P£MSsmt ofthedefence of religioa^ 
its temples, and its mini&ot^^ to which ^ 
knights devoted even life it&lf^ the odier 
laws of Chivalry contained in the oa^ of 
reception^ might have been adopted hf 
the wifeft legidators, and the greateft phi^ 
ioibphers of evety age and natkin« Im 
virtue of theie law4, widowis^ oiphaM* 
and all thofe of either Xex that were powt 


ANt:t£HT CUtVALRY. 6) 

«iteft> ill at eaft, «&d groming onder op« 
preffion and tilj«ftice» had a ri§^t w 
tjaitn tht pmefcAion of a koight> abl t» 
txt^St f«r their defence, not 06ly the Auv 
cour of liis ami, but the facrifice of M* 
left. And to Oxnnk from this obligatioo» 
was to fail ift pijriAg the moft facred debt; 
it was to incur di(honour for the teft -ttf* 
ilia dayB« 

X)t ail dlie laws of Chivalry^ none; 
was maint^ned with &tch v%ocir among 
tbe Frftftch nobility, as regu-d td w<o« 
men i they had peculiar privil^s grafit» 
td thenit Without arms to maintain 
ilieiMfelves in the podfefiion of dieir 
dUrtes, deftitu«( of the means to prove 
^duAt innocence if attacked, they would 
Ikate been often diftt«fled witneies <6f 
^tk fortune and their lands becoming thtt 
^rey of a neighbouring nnjtr!!: and tytttn- 
«k!td k>rd> or dydk- Tcputatton finking «n- 
4etikt load of celumtiy, if thekfiights JMd 
tt«^ btea ahMiys nady to arm in ^air4«» 
-ib(t€tN It was even a capital point of 


<4 • ^ ® ^^^ I R « : o r 

their infUtution, never . to ceniure^ any 

lady themfelveSy nor to faffer any to be 

guilty of fuch an offence in their pre* 

^ fence. /' If an honeft and virtuous lady/* 

£iys Brantome^ '' vfill maintain her firm-** 

nefs and conftancy> her fervant mnft.not 

even fpare his life to proted and defend 

heri if fhe runs the leaft riik either of her 

>^ fortune or honour, or of any cenforiottfr. 

word : thus have I fcen in our court^^ fe- 

veral who have iileaced with a word the 

back-biter of dieir ladies and miftreffea : 

and fo it becometh us to do, for we are 

bound, by the laws of Chivalry, to be the 

' champion of their afflidlions." This right 

of the ladies was, however, to be condi- 

tional> and fuppofed that their condud: 

did not render them, in^any degree or point 

of reputation, unworthy of that affocia*^ 

tion which united them to an order folely 

founded on honour. */ A princefs,'* fays 

Tirant le Blanc, *' declares^ that (he fub- 

,mits to lofe all right to the benefits of 

Chivalry, and consents, that never .any 


AncJIENT ChlVAlRY. 6^ 

knight fliould take arms in her defence^ if 
fhe keeps not the promife of marriage (he 
has given to the knight who adored her/' 
And this union of fame between the knights 
and the ladies^ was a new bond on the 
latter to preferve, with the moft precious 
care, thofe pure and worthy difpofitionSi 
and that refinement of manners, which the 
knights exadled fcrupuloufly from them ; 
and this Was a folid advantage that Chi- 
valry conferred on fociety. A young 
gentlewoman, whofe defence was under- 
taken by Gerard de Nevers, beholding 
the ardour with which he engaged in it> 
took off her glove of waiting, and deli-^ 
vered it to Gerard, (who very willingly 
received it) faying to him, ** Sir, my 
perfon, my life^ riiy. lands, and my ho-^ 
nour, I depofit in the care .of God and 
of you; to whom I pray God to give fuchr 
ailiftaftce and grace, that I may be deli*^ 
vered from this peril/' 


6& Memoirs of 

If negligence in acquitting himfelf 
of the duty he owed to oppreffed or 
offended individuals, was of itfelf a fuf*- 
ficient reproach, with what infamy muft 
the knight be overwhelmed, if he failed 
to exert himfelf in war with the energy 
due to his prince and his country ? Born 
a judge, by his condition of knight, 
of all his peers, that is to fay, of all thofe 
who in the rank of fiefs were his equals; 
and fuperior judge of his vafTals ; he would 
not be mor^ difhonoured in his tribunal, 
by judgments againfl the laws of equity, 
than in the field of battle, by anions 
contrary to the laws of war. In the dc* 
fcription of Foulque, nephew of Gerard, 
fs fummed up all the qualities of an ac- 
complifhed, brave, and virtuous knight : 
** He is,'* fays Gerardy ** courageous, af- 
fable, frank, gentle, and eloquent ; he is 
equally fkilled in hunting in woods and 
in rivers (meaning the exercifcs of fal- 
conry, fifhing, and purfuing beafls of 
prey or game) > he is expert in playing at 


Ancient Chivalry. 67 

chefs, draught s» and dice ; he is eager to 
expand his heart, and to difFafe his wealth; 
to all who approach him; and even, with- 
out partiality of limitation, to all the 
world!— the declared enemy of injuftice, 
and of all who dare to be its patrons. The 
being unable to redrefs wrongs, is his^ fole 
caufe of grief: if this ever happens, he 
is inconfolable ; nor will he ever put an 
end to his court, till he has confirmed the 
equity of his private judgments in the 
public lifts/' 

In a difpute between three Trouba- 
dours, it wzs confidcred, whether the 
qualities of equity, generofity, attd valour; 
tnuft be given each diftindlly to a dif- 
ferent knight, or combined. The refulf 
was, that, to form a perfeA knight, all 
the tender offices of humanity fhould be 
united to the greateft valour, and the foft 
emotions of pity and generofity t6 the 
afflided, affociated with the ftrifteft juf"-" 

tice and integrity of heart. To fum up 

all, the knight muft be a jiWge of his 
fcttdatories; a'pfotedlor of "his vaflals, a 
" * * ^ F z defcndcF 

6B Me m o I r s of • 

defended' of the oppreffed, and a father of 
the inhabitants who live in his domains^ 
and of whom he is the liege lord. 

No other human laws inforced, as Chi- 
valry did, JwcfitBgis and modcfty of temper, 
and that politenefs which the word courtejy 
w^s meant perfeSly to exprefs. Such is 
to be the modefty of the knight, that he 
is to afcribe every thing to the hand of 
God, and praife him alone, for the noble 
ads he is enabled to perform .5 vain-glory 
and high copceit of any deed, is con- 
fidered as a vice which extmguifhes ^the 
merit of the knight, and renders him un- 
worthy the rewards and benefits of Chi- 
valry. Agreeable to thefe principles, king 
Artus, in his inftruAions to his knights, 
fpeaks thus to them : ** I call to miad 
what a hermit faid to me on a time, to 
chaftife my vanity. * If you had as many 
kingdoms as king Alexander, as much 
fenfe as the wife Solomoh, and as exalted 
valour as the brave Hedor of Troy ; jpride 
alone, if that reigns in you, will ruin all/ 
Guard againft this vice, wjiich' brings 


Ancient. CHivALRy. 69 

with it a whole legion of vices ia its. 


Nor did any other human law infift, 
.with fo much force as that of Chivalry, 
on the neceiSty of inviolable adherence 
to truths and horror of deceit aiid lies. 
Adherence to their word was the heredi- 
tary virtue of the French, and was anci-^ 

. cntly efteemed the moft honourable part 

' of their chgraiSler, even in the judgment 
of the Romans their enemies : and Taci- 

, tus thus celebrates the fidelity, as well as 
the bravery, of jthe Germans, their an-r 
ceftors : ^* No' nation exceeds the Ger- 
mans in valour and in truth," And this 
eulogy ought rrot to be fufpedted, in a 
.writer who reproaches them, in another 

• place, with their cxccffive love of play, 
*' Even without having drunk, ftrange 
. as it appears, they make a ferious occur 
pation of the gaiiie. of dice, and give 
themfelves up to it with fo much fury, 
that after having gamed away all they 
F 3 have. 

- have, thoy fiiu£hi by ilaking therdEbkes ; 
in one fingle throw they riik their perfoa 
and liberty; and he who lofes, fufFers 
himfelf to be bound^ and fold for a flave ; 
though younger and ftronger perhaps 
than his antagonift, he raibraces de- 
ftruiftion, feying, ?* I inuji keep the pro- 
mife I have made/*— ^ to fuch a pitch did 
they carry this virtue of integrity, in the 
midft of that infatiable paffion for gam« 
ing, which brought on their ruin. 

In the examples and precepts of the 
antient Roman writers, truth is every 
where recommended* " King Artus,*' 
{zys Lancelot dc Lac, ^* having given his 
word to a knight, to make him a prefent 
of the queen his wife, would neither liften 
to the lamentations of this princefs, nor 
to any reprefentations that could be made 
him I he only replied, • I have promifed, 
and a king cannot go from his word : 
whoever will be a king, let him be an 
honeft man/ The queen was accordingly 


Ancient Chivai^ry. 71 

delivered to the knight, to acquit the 
king of the promife he had given.'* 

An oath given in the name of a knight, 
was, of all oaths, the moft inviolable. The 
knights taken in war, engaged to come, of 
their own accord, to ptifon, whenever it 
{hould be required; and on their word 
of honour, they were readily allowed li- 
berty for the time they a(ked it. No one 
doubted their fulfilling their engagements, 

, i as puniStual as Regulus fulfilled his ; or 
' believed that any p^n or diftrefs would 

/intimidate them, where their oath was • 
concerned. And fovereigns confidered ' 
themfelvcs to be as ftri<ftly bound by the 
oath of knighthood, as if they had fworn 
by their crown, which they held indeed 
from Chivalry. '^ Duke Jehan, of Bre- 
tagne, havings treated of peace with king 
Charles the Sixth, fvvore to the obferv- 
ance of the treaty, by the faith of his 
body and the loyalty of his knighthood." 
But there cannot be a more perfedl view 
*F 4 of 


yt M s 1^ o J R s p F 

pf dieir fidelity^ than in tke example Km 

lated by Jqinville, in the recital of the mif? 

fortunes which befel the Chriftian army, 

{md the imprifonment of St. Louis the 

. king. " Deplorable/' fays he, *' was 

• the condition to which the queen his 

wife was reduced : informe4 of Tier mifr 

\ fortunes, given up to defpair, and to fuch 

)( terrifying ideas ^s would not fuffcr her 

// \ to clofe her eyes, and eypeftiqg every 

/ \ moment would bring on her the pangs of 

-child-birth. In this dreadful fituation, 

when {he was on the point of fs^lling alive 

into the hands of the infidels, (he takes 

her laft refolve ; {he throws herfelf at thp 

feet of an ancient knight, aged abovp 

fourfcore ycar§, and conjures him, on his 

word, to grant her one requeft. The old 

man promifes, and plights to her his oatht 

^ Gut off my head then,' faid flie, * before 

the Saracens can fcize my pcrfon, if they 

(hould become mafters of this city of 

Damiette, in which I am now (hut up,' 

T|ip reply pf the knight is a proof of ttje 


Anc}?jnt CiiivALRy, 73 

ot^ligatioii by which, in Chivalry, he wa? 
J>ound to preferve female honour in every 
fituation, even with the lofs of life» 
f Very willingly will I perform your 
fcqueft/ he replied, * which I thought 
^deed to have done of myfelf, \f the cafi; 
/hould fo require it/ 

If fuch care of the reputation of ladies 
jn general, and in public cafes, was ob- 
ferved, it was the moft- capital crime 
againft t)i^ o^th of knighthood, to at^ 
fempt; tlje Ijonou^ of any lady or miftrefs 
in private and focial ^fe ; and if fuch at* 
fempt was made l^y ^ knight on the wife 
pf his lord, it wa^ jrremiffible : and if 
fi knight ^as evepi informed that the 
pondu<5t qf a lady w^s reproachable, he 
was to make it jcnown %o his lord *, and 
he was efteemed criminal himfelf, if he 
concealed it from him. Aggravain dif- 
covered to king Artus, the wrong done to 
this prince by Lancelot the fquire, whom 
)iis queen loved j and Mordreq^ adds to 


74' • Memoirs op 

what Aggravain had iaid, ** Sir knight^ 
we have concealed it from you as long as 
we could, but at laft it was neceflary the 
truth fhould be made known ; and by fo 
long concealing it we are perjured; we 
therefore free ourfclves from this perjury, 
and tell you plainly, that as we have faid, 
fo indeed it is.** 

In the Colombierc are to be feen the 
twenty-fix articles of the oath taken by 
the knights ; among which is to be re- 
marked particularly, that which obliged 
them, at the return from their expeditions, 
to give an fX^A and faithful account of 
all the adventures, fuccefsful or unfortu- 
nate, honourable or degrading, they had 
met with ; which were all to be inferted 
in the relations of the heralds or officers 
at frms. The recital, of their fuccefs ani- 
mated the courage of the other knights i 
the account of their humiliation conibled 
in idea, thofe who might fear to experi- 
ence the £une fate, and taught them never 

Ancient Ghiva£Ry. 75 

to €Bcoarage defpatr. It was a me^nt 
alfo of maintaining and improving^ in tlie 
hearts and minds of thefe knights^ the 
love of truth, the only foKd bafis of every 

If tki« love of truth has not defi:end<^d 
to the French nation in later times, witl^ 
all the purity of the golden age of knight-- 
hM>d, it has produced at leaft fhth a dif-- 
ihixi for thofe who infringe it, that the 
Lie has been always coniidered as the inoft 
fatal and irreparable affront that a man of 
honour-could receivei, And this love of truth 
is not perhaps the only trace of virtue that 
Chivalry has left in the manners and cuf^ 
toms of that nation : it would h&ve been 
happy, if they had not carried this, and 
other virtues, to a pernicious excefs of 
delicacy and pundilio, which, in their 
origin, had thofe great objects folely in 
view, the public good, and the fervice of 
their king. From ^hc precepts included in 
the oath of Chivalry, branch forth all thofe 


y6 M B M O I R s o > 

morals fpread throughout the works of 
the ancient Friench poets and romance ^ 
writers. Iq a vcrf ^cient manufcript^ 
called^ The RcHnance of theWings, the poet 
feigns^ * That the prowefs of the knight 
is borne upon two wings, which are eflen- 
tial tp his fame, aaj "Arithout which h^ 
cannot extend his flight, and nobly foar on 
l^gh, Thefc two wings, are Liberality 
and Courtesy; each is adorned with feVea 
plumes, which are the iigRS of the diffi^^ 
rent condi.tion8 or modifications of the& 
virtues, as e&ntial af prowefs itfelf to 
the reputatipn of a good knight* Chi- 
valry (adds the poet) i$ the fountain of 
all goodnefs, and it can never be ex- 
haufted; from God it conges, and the 
knights over whom it flbws from head, to 
foot, are its fole pojOfeflbrs ; they hold 
thofe fprings in fief, which water and fer- 
tilize the reft of the world** 

But the poets and romance writers, who 
were the echos of the hifiorianSf were not 



Ancient Chivalry. 77 

the only ttftimonies in the praife of 
knighthood : the Bifhop of Auxerre, an 
illuflrious prelate, in the holy place, in 
prefence of all the courts having ofHci-- 
ated pontifically at the obfequies that 
Charles the Sixth made for the l^rave Du 
Guefclin, nine years after the death of this 
conftable ; in the funeral oration on this 
hero, feprefents the duties of a true knight, 
in which are the follpwing lines, in the 
relation preferved by the monk of St. 
Denys, the moft authentic hiftorian of 
the reign of Charles the Sixth. — " The 
Bifhop took for his theme or text, ' His 
fame is gone abroad through all the earth V 
And he ihewed, by the recital of his great 
exploits in arms and in war, by his tro- 
phies and his triumphs, that Du Guefclin 
was the moft perfedl image of knight- 
hood; and that the title of the * truly 
brave,* was given only to thofe who, like 
him, had been equally fignalized in va- 
lour and in probity. He paflcd from 
thence to the qualities^ of a true knight •; 


yS Memoirs op 

Und Ihewed, by its origin and inftitution, 
that Chivalry was not moiie neceflary for 
the defence^ than the political govern- 
ment of the ftate^ and that it was an or- 
der that obliged to great duties, as well to 
the king as to the public. He then ex- 
horted all the knights preient to ferve 
their fovereign with perfedt fubmiflioni 
and declared^ that it was only by his or- 
dtr, and for his fervice, they were to take 
up arms ; and that there was as much vir- . 
tue and honour required, as valour and 
experience, to merit, in their profcilion, 
the grace of God and the efteem of 
men."— The primitive dlfcipline of an- 
cient Chivalry was, however, greatly re- 
laxed at this time; nor were the wifeft 
regulations capable of flopping the pro- 
grefs of this corruption. 

The defire of railing Chivalry to its 
former ftate, was the origin of the order of 
knights of the Star, created by King John 
in 1 351 : *^ After God (fays he) it was to 


Ancient Chivairy. 79 

the virtue and valour^ the unanimity and 
fidelity of the ancient knights^ that the ' 
former M^gs^ my predeceflbrs, owed their 
triumphs over their enemies; — who in the 
crufades^ as it were by a miracle^ brought 
over a prodigious number of infidels to the 
Catholic faith, and who reilored a finking 
ftate to peace and tranquillity, in which 
it long after continued/' But the inaction 
and luxury of pacific times^ and the inter* 
ruption and negle<^ of military exerci&s, ' 
caufed the decay of Chivalry ; the knights 
gave themfelves up to fupinenefs and eaie, 
and forgetting the care of their honour 
and reputation, fought only their private 

King John, by this new fbuncbtion^ 
eftablifhed in the church of St* Ouin, 
fought to detach the knights from frivo-^ * 
lous occupations, and to revive that happy 
concord, fo fruitful of advantages to them, 
and the bafis of their fame and triumph : 
thu& be hoped to reftor^ the honour and 


So Memoirs 6 9 


iplendour df ancient Chitalry. Btit thfci*d 
efforts of the king, though they wefe con ^ 
tinued by his fon Charles the Fifth, Could 
not prevent its declining ; and the hifto-^ 
rian of St. Denys, after a curious recital 
of the knighthood conferred by Charles 
the Sixth, at St. Denys, in 1389, on the 
ypung King of Sicily and the Count of 
Maine, refers to this when he fays—* 
♦* thefe princes, who were brothers, ap- 
peared to celebrate the vigil of arms in 
habits as modeft as uncommon, that they 
might preferve the ancient cuftoms of the 
noviciates in Chivalry, which obliged them 
to appear in the fimple drefs of fquires :" 
and then, giving an account of their equi-*^ 
page—" all this (adds he) appeared ex- 
traordinary to many, becaufe few there 
were who knew that this fimplicity of 
indudion was indifpenfable in the ancient 
ceremonies of knighthood/* 

By thefe laws, as the knight was obliged 
to be moft exad in his manners and condudl 


Ancient Chivalry. 8i 

towards women; fo thofe ladies who wifh- 
ed to be refpeded, were obliged to refpedt 
themfelves, being then fure they would 
never fail in receiving the regard that 5vas 
their due ; but if, by an oppofite conduft, . 
they gavecaufe for juft reproach, they had 
all the reafqn in the world to fear they 
fhould meet with knights who would take 
a diligent cognizance of their offences.. 
The Chevalier de la Tour, in an addrefs 
on education to his daughters, towards the 
year ij/i, in Charles the Fifth's reign, 
makes mention of a knight of his time, 
who paffing by a caftle marked with figns 
of infamy, as the manfion of thofe ladies 
who were not worthy to receive loyal 
knights according to the laws of honour 
and virtue, from which they had mife- 
rably departed, gives the juft eulogy to 
thofe who merit the public efteem :— 
** It was now (fays he) a time ^ of peace, 
and there were great feafting^ and re- 
joicings continually ; and all orders of 
knights, of ladies, and young gentlewomen, 
G aflembled 

$2 Memoirs of 

aflemblcd at thcfc entertainments ; and here 
the good knights of this time were in 
great honour. But if it chanced that 
any lady. or gentlewoman of bad fame or 
(lender honour, feated herfelf near a good 
lady or a young gentlewoman of fair re- 
nown, though (he was the genteeleft, or 
the moft noble, or the richeft lady, ei- 
ther by lineage or marriage, thefe good 
knights thought it no ill manners to make 
ufe of their authority on this occafion ; 
they took the good lady and fet her above 
the bad, faying to the latter before all the 
affembly, — * Lady, let it not difpleafe 
you that this lady, or this gentlewoman, 
is placed before you ; for though ifhe is 
not noble or rich as you are, flie is inno- 
cent, and is therefore exalted to the rank 
of the good ; but this fay they not of you, 
which it grieves me to find true ; wonder 
not, therefore, at this diftinftion, for ho- 
nour muft be given, where honour is de- 
fcrved/ Thus fpake the good knight,, 
and placed the worthy and exalted ia 


Ancient Chivalry; 83 

i^gme in the higheft place i at which ihe 

humbly rejoiced, and thanked God that (he 

had preferved a pure heart, and been held 

worthy of honour : and the other put her 

hands before her face, held down her 

head, and fuffered great fhame : and this 

was a good example to all gentle ladies ; 

for from the reproach that followed to th«. 

bad, they the more feared to do ill them^ 

y felves. Some ladies have iaid on hear-- 

' ing this (adds the Chevalier) ^ that, thanic 

God ! in thefe times, whether ladies are 

good or bad, it is all the fame thing ; and 

that the defamed are as much honoured a$^ 

the worthy :' but it is not fo ; for though 

in their prefence fome in this age may 

ihew civility to fuch, yet when out o£ 

fight, they are jeered at and reviled : but I 

think this is ill done, and that it would be 

more honeil to ihew them their faults 

openly, as they did in the times I' have 

fpoken of. The fame knight (adds the 

Chevalier) who watched over the general 

polity with fo much flridtnefs, having 

G z perceived 

84 "^ M E M O I R S O F 

perceived a young nobleman in an affem-* 
hly, who by his abfurd and unfecmly 
drefs, would have been taken for a jon- 
gleur or minftrel, obliged him to go 'back 
and get othef cloaths more fuitahle to his 
* birth and condition : fo great was the au- 
thority conferred by the title of knight. 
And I have heard feveral perfons fay, that 
they faw the faid knight Geoffrey, who 
told them, that when he rode about the 
country, artd few the caftle or manor of • 
any lady, he always enquired whofe it 
was ; and when they told him it belonged 
to fuch or fuch a lady, if her charadler 
was blameable in point of honour, he 
would fooner have gone half a league 
round, than enter the threfbold of her 
door; but he took out a fmall crofs which 
.he wore, and marked the door with a 
fignet of infamy, and then turned his 
horfe away from it. On the contrary,' 
when he pafled the manfiqa of a lady or 
^oung gentlewoman of fair renown, if he 
was not in too great hafle> he came tci 
- . ' fee. 

Ancient Chivalry. 85 

fee^ gave her a chearful falutation, and faid 
to her, * My good friend, or my good 
lady, I pray God that he will ever main^- 
tain you in this w^lth and this honour, 
among the number of the good, and to 
him be the praifc and the glory/ | wifh 
(concl\)des the Cheyalier de la Tour) this 
time was zgain returned, for I think 
there would not then b? fo many cenfured 
as tberp ar? at prefent/' 

. The moft common and frequent occar 
fions on which knights were made, inde- 
pendent pf thofe which happened in war, 
were at the great feafts of the church, 
ahqve all at the feafl; of Pentecoft, when 
g great number of royal youths, the fons 
and brothers of kings, from the i-eign of 
Philip Augqftws to that of Philip le Bel, 
received the gift pf knighthood j and 
Henry the Third, finqe that time, chofe 
the fame feaft for the inftitution of the or- 
4er of the Holy Ghoft : alfo at the pub- 
licatiojis of peac? or truccj^ th? corona- 
G 3 tion 

$6 ' M E M O I R $ OF 

tion of kings, the birth or bapti(m of 
princes of ro>^al houies, and the daye on 
which thcfe princes had themfelves rc- 
4ceivcd knighthood. Louie the Fourteenth 
followed this ancient cuftotn> in the year 
1661, when he made a promotion of 
knights of that order, on occasion of the 
birth of the dauphin. On llipfe days 
ttlfo which were the inveftitures of fomc 
great fiefs, on the beti^othings and mar- 
riages of thef© princes, and their entries 
into the principal cities of their govern- 
ment. In 1238 they made knights at 
Compiegne, on the marriage of Robert, 
the eldeft brother of St. Louis ; and at Sau- 
mur, in 1241, at the marriage of Al- 
phonfo, his fecond brother,— Charles the 
Eighth made a magnificent entry into 
Naples, and the noble and beautiful la- 
dies of the city and the country came 
through the ftreets andfquares of the city, 
attended by their children, and were fo 
richly ornamented from head to foot, that 
there was nothing to be feen, even in 


Ancient Chivalry. 87 

France, to compare with them for fplen- 
dour, beauty, and eleg;ance of drefs. Thefe 
ladies, as they pafled along, prefented to 
the king their young children, and be-, 
fought him to confer on them, with his 
own hand, the order of knighthood; re- 
puting this the higheft honour and beft 
fortune that could be beftowed on them ; 
which the king could not refufe to fuch 
tender and beautiful petitioners .—The moft 
important adts of princes could not be 
celebrated in a more fuitable manner, as 
they were the natural chiefs of knight- 
hood; and no circumftances could be 
chofen more proper, to give a luftre to 
the reception of the new-^made knights, ' 

In the time of peace, the drefs and the 
ceremonial of thefe promotions was mote 
jpegular and magnificent ; the knights un-* 
employed in war, for which they waited 
with impatience, had no other means of 
tcftifying their ackriowledgment for the 
favour of knighthood, than by giving the 
G 4 princes^ 

88 Memoius of 

princes, their benefactors, a lively iniag^ 
of war, by the fpedacles of the tourna^ 
ments ; thefe therefore almpil: always fucr 
ceedpd their new dignity, and in them 
they fignalized, with an ardent emulation, 
their flcill, their ftrength, and their va- 
lour. Henry the Fifth king of England 
having married the daughter of Charles 
the Sixth king of France, being folicited 
by the French and Engli(h knights to ce- 
lebrate his marriage by joufts and tournar 
ments, according to the ancient cuftom^ 
he refufed this honour, that he might 
employ his arms in a riiore ufeful manr 
jier; faying, !* I requeft Monfieur the 
king, Whofe daughter I have efpouied, 
and I command all her fervants, and my 
fervants, that to-morrow morning they 
all hold themfelves in readinefs to fit 
down before the city of Sens, wherein 
are the enemies of Moniieur the king; 
and there let each one of us jouft and tilt, 
and (hew his (irength and his valour"; for 
the moA laudable and perfed prpweis in 




AnCii^nt Chivalry. ^9 

J^e world, is that of doing juftice on the 
bad, that th« poor people may live in 
peace/* To which King Charles and 
every one confuted; and they did on the 
morrow as had been- agreed. 

It is eafy t^ imagine what emotion 
was produced in all hearts, by the procla- 
mation of thefe folemn tournaments, long 
before announced in the moft pompous 
terms ; they animated all the knights and 
•fquires in each province or pan ton, and 
in each cpurt, to make other tournaments^ 
wherein, by all kinds of exercifes, they 
might prepare themfelvcs for app^ring 
on a greater theatre: private gentlemen, 
inftead of refting idle in their caftles, re- 
peated daily among each other thefe exer- 
cifes, that 'they might be capable of ob- 
taining the rewards promifed in the high 
tournaments, where they fhould have for 
fpe<5tators the flower of every court in 
Europe. In Germany, we learn by Ta- 
citus, the intrepidity and agility yrhich 



90 MSMOlltsioF 

were fhewn in the tournam^s^ where they 
are ftill pradifed : but Niwiard^ the ne- 
phew of Charlemagne, hm ,given a more 
exaft view of the wifdom ^d the.modefty 
which tempered the activity and the ar« 
dour of thefe combats^,'' and a touching 
and curious defcriptioa of the union, in 
which Lewis of Gennany and Charles his 
brother lived after the treaty of peace 
which fucceedcd the battle of Fontenoy 
in 842 :— ^* Thejfe princes were cpntinu-* 
ally making prefents po each other, to tef- 
tify their mutual a£Se<ftion ; they had only 
pne houfe, that they might neye^ be fepa- 
rate; and fuch was their congeniality of 
difpofition, that the amuf^nents and em- 
ployments of the one, were the amufe-* 
men ts and employments of the other: they 
affifted together at the exercifes of their 
different fubjeds^ who in equal number 
performed them in the midft of a prodi- 
gious multitude of fpedtators : each party 
charged in thefe combats with fo much 
fury, that they appeared to be mortal ene- 

mies j. 

Ancient Chitalry. -91 

tmics ; till the vanqtjiflicd, cpycring thcm- 
felves with their bucklers^ were obliged 
to make a precipitate retreat ; fooh after 
which, recovering breath, and refaming 
^eir ardour, they faced about, and obliged 
the other party p fly in their turn ; at 
|afl: the two king$ advanced on horfeback, 
with aij their young nobility, and, with 
loud (houts, brandifhing their glittering 
javelins and lances, pharged fometinies ont 
party, fprnetimes the other 5 and it walB 
worthy of admiration, that the dignity and 
caution of this ni)merous multitude, com*- 
pofed of fo many different nations, was 
fuch (rarely feen in the fmalleft number 
of friends) that not an ofFenfive word or 
action paffed in the whole aflembly/' 

It is natural here to recall what Hero-, 
dotus fays concerning the Olympic games : 
•* Some deferters from Arcadia having, 
^n the pfefence of Xerxes, made a recital 
of the combats which were celebratmg ii^ 
Greece, at the very time that three hun- 
dred Spartans flopped the Perfian army at 


92 Memoirs of 

the ftrait of Thermopylae ; a Pcrfian lor4, 
'ftanding by Xerxes, cried out (with ^ 
voice that feemed to tremble for the fatp 
of his nation) What men are we aboi^t 
tp engagjc with! infenfible to intereft, 
their fole motive is glory. !"-r-In |ike manr. 
ncr, yrhen the ambaflador of the Ottomaa 
empire, who affifted at the tournaments in 
France, under Charles the Seventhi made 
report of them tq the Sultan and thofe 
prefent, they made a iimilar inipre^pn 
on his countrymen. 

The invention of the toi^rnaments is 
afcribed to Geoffrey Preuilli, who died in 
1066. Fron\ the French coi^rts they pafled 
into thofe of England and Germany ; in-: 
troduced in the latter, it is faid, by Henry 
the Fowler. Afid from the jByzan^ne 
hiftory we learn, that the people of 
the Eaft adopted them from the French^ 
who have always diftinguifhed themfelve? 
in thefe exercifes above all other nations, 
tp the time of Bran tome i who fays (fpeaJ^r 


ihg of the departure of Charles the Eighth 
of Naples) ** this noble king left his king- 
dom in peace, and gave to the lords and the 
ladies of that kingdoni many pleafures, paf- 
times, and magnificent tournaments, accord- 
ing to the cuftom of France, and in which 
Charles the Eighth was the firft diftin- 
guifhed for the elegance of his mien and 
the fkill of his arms." 

While they were preparing the lifts 
deftined for the tournaments, they exhi- 
bited through the cloifters of fome neigh- 
bouring monafteries, the armorial (hields 
of thofe who defigned to enter the lifts* 
It was the ancient cuftom to carry the 
roats of arms, helmets, &c. into the mo- 
naftery before the tournaments began ; and 
to offer up at the church, after the victory 
•was gained, the arms and the horfes with 
which they had fought : the former was^ 
done- that they might be viewed by the 
lords, the ladies, and the young gentle- 
women, to fatisfy their curiofity ; and a 


94 Memoirs op 

herald or purfuivant at arms named to 
tjie ladieg the perfons to whom each be* 
longed s and if amongft thefe pretender^ 
there was £Dund any one of whom a lady 
had. caufe to complain^ either for fpeaJuog 
ill of her> or for any other fault or injury^ 
ibe touched the helmet or the fhield of 
liiefe arms to demand juilice, and figni- 
fyingt that fhe reconmxended her cauie to 
the judges of the tournaments. Thefe, 
after haying gained the neceiTary informa- 
tion, were to pronounce fentence ; and if 
the crime had been judicially proved, the 
punifhmeat followed inmiediately. 

As by the laws of was or- 
dained, that nobles alone were to be ad- 
mitted to the tournaments, they alfo made 
enquiry into the rank and condition of 
thofe who prefented themfelves, in the 
£une maon(3r as was pradifed, in the time 
of St. Chryfoftom, in the combats of (he 
Circus, The Agonothete demanded, in a 
loud voice, if any one could iay, that he 



who ofFc 
in which 
knights alfo 
their lives 

Ancient Chivalry. 95 

at the combat' was a Have ? 
he was to be rejedled. Thofe 
who, in the examination of 
id manners, were adjudged 
guilty of adulltery or incontinence, were 
punifhed* lit any one, thus degraded, 
prefented hiiiifelf neverthelefs at thfe 
lifts, the other! knights chaftifedhim; and 
fomctimes the \dies themfelves joined in 
the contempt arid puniihment thus in- 
fliAed for his temerity, and taught him 

better to refpeft 
laws of Chivalry, 
mercy, with a loud 

leir honour and the 
The befeeching their 
and fervent fupplica- 

tion, was the only means of obtaining 
pardon for the criminal. The inftrument 
by which the kijight was correfted, was a 
fort of fwitch, or gantlope, which Eu- 
ftache Defchamps calls, * the branch of 
the tournament/ 

It would be endlefs to enter mi- 
nutely on the defcription of the lifts for 
the tournament, or the places for thefc 
2; martial 

p6. Memoirs o^e^ 

martial exercifcsj fome of Sfhich were 
cre<aed in cities, before pal.*es or great 
houfes. Sauval, . in his hift<iry of Paris, 
fpeaks of lifts, fet up at the Aalace of the 
Louvre, at the hotel of St. P*ul, and other 
places in Paris, which belDnged to the 
princes of the blood and thi great officers 
of the crown : and the privilege of hav- 
ing barriers placed befo^ fuch great 
houfes, which ftill contpiues, originated 
from .the honour due to^ofe alone who 
were able to give at the<r hotels the grand 
fpeaaclesof joufts and' tournaments. 

■ When the tournaments were exhibited 
in the open fields, the plains were covered 
over with tents and fuperb pavilions ; fcaf- 
folds were erefted round the courfe, where 
the multitude of brave and noble knights 
were to fignalize themfelves j and they 
engaged in the joufts or combats of lances; 
thefe were between two perfons only. 
The caftillcs, or reprefentation of the at- 
tack and defence of towers and caftles; 
which, from the ardour with which they 


AkiciENT Chivalry. $7 

ehgaged in them, were often attended 
vrith fatal confequences, as in that at 
Milan, before king Lewis the Twelfth^ 
who was obliged to ufe all his authority td 
feparate the combatants, many t?f whom 
were caft from the ramparts, covered with 
blood, into the moat that furrounded the 
caftle, and almoft fuffbcated* And in 
1546, the court of France paffing th6 
winter at Rocheguion, amufed themfelves 
with making caftilles> which they attack- 
ed and defended with balls of fnow ; but 
divifions arifing among the chiefs, they 
became heated in reality, ** and in the 
conteft," fays M. de Thou, " the duke 
d* Enguien loft his life." And the fam6 
author relates, " That in 1606, M. de 
Rofni had a caftille or fortrefs of wood 
run up in hafte, on the birth of the dau- 
phin ; which was vigoroufly attacked and 
defended." To thefe were added the pas 
d' armes, or attack and defence of bridges, 
defiles, the paflages of rivers, or any 
other narrow and important pafs ; and 
. H the 

g$ . Memoirs op 

the combats of the throng, wherein mttl-* 
titudes, covered over with armour, cn« 
gaged together with fuch clattering and 
violent motions, that they overthrew one 
another geU-mell, in. the moft. extreme 
disorder and confufion. 

All theie different combats were to 
reprefent all that was done in ws^r. The 
mod difficult to fucceed in^, was that of 
the pas d' armes ; this gave rife to th^ 
phraie, " He is got into a plunge^*' or 
*• He will find it hard to get out of the bri-- 
ers/' S. Julien de Balkiue^ in his Hijftoric 
Medley^ mak^s mention of a pas d'annes^ 
which w^s heldj, for all comers^ in the 
camp of Attigni, during the truce,, by 
Gabriel de S. Julien, his couiin» and the 
Sieur de Cireffia, in the place called Crot 
Madame ; and no one was able to make 
the defenders of this ditch quit the fpot 
they defended, whatever ftratagems were* 
made i)fe of. 


ANdlEtJT CtiiVALRY. 99 

^The fcaflpQlds were often conftruded 
in the fofmS of towers ; they were di- 
vided into lodgesi with divifions and 
flights of fteps; they were decorated 
l^eith all the pofTible magnificence that 
rich carpets^ ihowy pavilions and ban- 
hers> filk flreamers, and fine culhionD 
eould give them; and were the placds 
teferved for the kings^ the queen^^ the 
prince^ and princefies^ for the ladies^ 
the young gentlewomen^ and all v^ha 
tompofed their court; and here were 
placed the ancient knights^ whom A 
long experience in arms had render^ 
ed the moft competent judges. Thefe 
venerable old men^ whofe great age 
Would not permit them to diftinguifh 
themfelves as formerly^ were afFedling 
rpe(Sators of a fight in which they had 
fignalized thcmfeWes. Touched with 
the tendered eileem for the yaliant youths 
they recalled to their minds the memory 
of their former exploits j and in them* 
H 2 they 

loo Memoirs of 

they bchcjd, with tranfport, the revival 
of their ancient glory ! 

The richnefs of the dreffes, adorned 
with precious ftones, heightened flill 
more the fplendour of this fpedacle. 
Judges decreed to that office, marftials of 
the camp, counfellors or affiftants, had, in 
feveral places, marked out for this pur- 
pofe, feats, wherein to maintain, in the 
field of battle, the laws of Chivalry, and 
of the tournaments, and to give their ad- 
vice and affiftance to all thofe who might 
iland in need of it. 

A MULTITUDE of kiugs, hcralds, and 
purfuivants at arms, fpread over the whole 
courfe, had their eyes fixed on all the 
iiombatants, to give a faithful report of 
the ftrokes given and received; they 
warned the young knights, who made 
their firft entrance into the tournament, 
of what they owed to the nobility of 


Ancient ChivalIiy, ioi 

their anccftors, 'f Remember/' faid they, 
'* whofe fon thou art, and degenerate 
not !'• 

The heralds received eight parifis from 
each knight, to hang up his helmet at 
the windows under the atchievement of 
the tournament : and fometimes at their 
firft entrance, their helmet was given to 
the oiSficerat arms; but with the follow- 
ing diilindion, marking the pre-.eminence 
of the combat with the lance, over that 
of the combat with the fword :-^if the 
knight had paid the helmet for the 
fword, he muft again pay it for the lance; 
but when onc^ it had been paid for the 
lance, he was quit for the fword, and 
other combats. According to the proverb, 
" The lance infranchifes from the fword, 
but the fword delivers not frpm the 

From thefe gratuities arofe the ihouts 

and the eulogies beftowed on the comba- 

H 3 tants. 


J02 Memoirs or 

tants. A crowd of tpinftrels^ with all fbrt$ 
of inftruments of martial mufic^ were 
jilfo ?rt hand, to celebrate the prqwefs and 
valour which fliould blaze forth on this 
great day; pages and fcrjeants at arms 
had orders to repair, with a ready adivity^ 
pn every fide, where the fcrvicc of the 
lifts called for it, eithcfr to give new 
arms to the combatants, who fhould have 
|)rolfen them in the engagement, or to 
fcccp the populace in order, filenc^, and 
rcfpeft. — r- ** On the place of com-r 
bat," fays the Monk of St: Dcnys, 
in hi& Hiftory • of Charles the Sixth, 
^* there arrived three Portuguefc, and 
three French knights ; when the firft 
placed thcmfelves on the ranks, they 
made obeifance to the king, who caufed 
it to be cried by the heralds at arms, that 
no one, op pain ofjofing his head, fhould 
dare ^o trouble or hinder thefe cham- 
pions, either by word, gefture, or any 
Other fign." 


Ancient Chivalry. 103 

The iioiirifh of trumpets anhounced 
the ariiva} of the knights, who, fupcrbly 
armed and equipped, followed by their 
fquires, appeared on horfeback, advancing 
with flowflcps^andgraveandmajeftic coun- 
tenances. Sometimes the ladies and young 
^gentlewomen led on their noble ilaves to 
the ranks by chains, which were faftened 
on them» and which they unloosened only 
at the edge of the lifts, juft as they were 
on the point of jufliing forth to the com- 
bat. The title of flave^ or fervant of the 
lady» was loudly proclaimed on entering 
into the tournament, in whatever phrafe 
fhe directed, in the iame manner as the 
vaiTal in war took the watch-word of the 
Jord he fcrved, the knight afking of her 
what the cry fhould be whi4:h he ihould 
caufe to refoundv for her in the tourna- 
ment* The knights alfo took the devices 
and colours of their ladies, as the vaiTals 
thofe of their ibvereign lords, Some- 
H 4 times 

|04 Memoirs op 

times thefe devices were enigmatical, an4 
only underftood by the perfons-^ — for whofc 
love tljey were fo contrived as to be im^ 
penetrable to all others. The ufe pf thefe 
devices of love, gave rife to a fidtionin the 
Arrefta Amorum : ^f A lover preparing to 
jouft, had on armour and drefs he had 
contrived in a pleafant humour, on which 
}ie put the device of his lady, and her co- 
lours on his houfipg, lance, and horfe : 
when about to depart, and going to the 
lady to receive her benedi<3:ion, flie feign- 
ed ficknefs, to cxcufe herfelf from feeing 
him. The Court of Love condemned the 
faid lady to drefs, invert, ^nd arm the 
faid amorous petitioner, the firft time he 
fhould appear at the tournament, and lead 
his horfe by the bridle the length of the 
lifts, one turn, and then deliver to him 
his lance, faying, * Adieu, my friend, 
have a good heart — care for nothing-rr 
your welfare is prayed for/' 


Ancient Chivalry. 105 

The knights were often invited to re- 
pair to the tournaments, with their fifters 
or other relations, but above all, with 
their miftrefles, or the ladies of their love; 
and the champions never failed to name 
thefe in their joufts, to encourage and 
animate each other. ** The laws after- 
wards,'* feys the author of the life of 
Cervantes, prefixed to his Don Quixote, 
'*^ cenfured this as an abufe ;" but it Was 
anciently thought, that thefe badges of 
honour, conferred by the ladies, could not 
be obtained but by the nobleft exploits ; 
and they were confidered by the wearers 
as aflured pledges of vidlory, and a facrcd 
bond to do nothing unworthy of the dif- 
tinguiflied rank conferred by them. The-^ 
defire of pleafing the fair fex, was indeed 
the foul of thefe tournaments. 

In Perceforeft there is a lamentation 
^his prince makes to one of his confidants, 
** That knights dwelling in the bofom of 


jo6 MsMoiits OF 

feiicityp and fuUnefs of peace, have aban« 
doned joafts and tournaments^ and all the 
glorious feats of Chivalry -.—Like unto the 
nightingale," fays he, ** who never cea&d 
to fing with melody and tnuifport in the 
^rvice of his beloved, till fhe had ihewn 
herielf favourable to his prayers : So 
the knights, at the fight of beauty, foft*- 
nefs, and the enchanting tendernefs of 
virgin chaftity, filled the univerie with 
their valour, and echoed the praife of 
their miftrcfles, till they had difarmcd 
the figour of the ladies, whom they thus 
ferved: And it was, no doubt," h$ 
adds, " a juft reward of their courage : 
but if the guerdon of their love had been 
longer retained in the fecret armories of 
their ladies hearts. Chivalry would not fo 
foon have ex:pired/*~** Servants of love,'* 
fays Euftache Defchamps, ** look fer^ 
vently up to the exalted feats of thefe an- 
gels of paradife, then fhall you jouft with 
valour, and be honoured and cherifhed." 


AnciehtChivalry. 107 

At the tournament held at Milan^ in 
1567, by Galeas de St. Seycrin, and other 
J^ombardSy King Louis the Thirteenth 
was there prefent in his royal tent ; the 
iadics in their itents were dreffed out fo 
gorgeoufly, ^at it was a feiry fight to 

The favours which the ladies added to 
ihc title of Servants of Love^ were jewels, 
enfigns of nobleife, fcarfs, hoods, ileeves, 
mantles, bracelets, knots of ribbon ; in 
a word, fome detached part of their drefs : 
fometime^ a piece of work embroidered 
with their pwn hands ; with which the 
^voured knight pmamented the top of 
his helmet, hM lance, his ihield, his coat, 
of arms, or fome other part of his armour 
or veftmcnt. Often in the heat of ac- 
^on, the fate of war canfed thcfe precious 
pledges to pafs into the h^ds- of. the vic- 
tor, or by other accidents in the fight 
fhey were loft ; . in which cafe the lady 
7 fcnt 

. f o8 Memoirs of 

fcnt others to her knight, to confole him, 
and to revive his courage. Thus ihe 

animated him to revenge his lofs, and to 

gain^ in , his turn, the favours which 

adorned his adversary, and of which, 

^fter the engagement, he was to make her 

the oblation. 

The Monk of St. Denys^ in his hif- 
tory of Charles the Sixth, after haying 
named feveral ladies, who, at the tourna^ 
raent made on the ; knighthood of the 
king of Sicily, and his brother, in 1389, 
marched with the knight to the barriers, 
^* They drew," fays he, '^ frqm their bo- 
foms, feveral favours of ribbons and filk, 
to rccompenfe the valour of thefe noble 
cha^;npions/' And Olivier de la Marche 
relates, - that in a more ferious, but 
not . a defpcrate battle^ at the court of 
Burgundy, in 1445, ^^^ ^^ ^^ knights 
received from his lady a fleeve of a delir 
cate dove-colour, elegantly embroidered ; 


Ancient Chivalry. 109 

arid he faftened this favour on his left 
arm, with a tagged point of black and 
blue, richly garnifhed with diamonds, 
pearls, and other precious ftones* 

It fomctimes happened, that the la- 
dies were fo eagerly employed in fupply- 
ing new favours to the knights, that they 
almoft uncloathed themfelves. ^^ At the 
end of one tournament, the ladies," fays 
Perceforeft, '* were fo ftripped of their 
head attire, that the greateft part of them 
were quite bare - headed, and appeared 
with their hair fpread over their fhoul- 
ders, yellower than the fineft gold ; their 
robes alfo were without lleeves ; for all. 
had been given to adorp the knights; 
hoods, cloaks, kerchiefs, ftomachers, 
and mantuas. ^But when they beheld 
themfelves in this woeful plight, they were 
greatly abaffied, till, perceiving every one 
was in the fame condition, they joined in 
laughing at this adventure, and that they 
^ fhoild 

116 Mt Uoikt oif 

ihould have engaged with fuch vehemeAfd 
in dripping themfelves of their cloaths 
from off their backs^ as never to havd 
perceived the lofs of them* 

In the Memoirs of the Duke of Or-i 
Ieans» it is relatedi *' that the knights id 
the laft age^ wore in public thefe favours^ 
but did not always adhere fo faithfully to 
the giver as in ancient times ; for in 1632^ 
Madame the princefs of PhalfbUrg had 
given to Moniieur de Puylaurent, who 
was in love with hcr^ a fword-knot, as ^ 
badge of her fiivour ; but he quitted her 
afterwards to take taffels for his cravat 
of the colour of Mademoifelle de Chimay^ 
in whom he was become interefted/' 

There is an anecdote of Henry the 
ipQurth, who kept up the chara&cr 0/ 
Ithe ancient knights^ by adhering to 
^s cuftom. Henry always wore, in 
feme part of his drefs, the colours her 
lia4 ^ined in his ferious battles. As 


Ancient CHiVAiHY. iii 

he was before the town of Dreux, and 
about to receive the vifit of his good 
coufin the Duchefs of Guife, to whom 
he had fent a paiTport, he went out to 
meet her ; and* having conduced her to 
his own apartment^ he faid, " My cou- 
fin^ you fee the a^Teftion I bear 3rau, 
for it is for love of you I am thus adorn-' 
ed-"--** Sire," replied ihe, fmiling, ^< I do 
not thank you, for I perceive no fuch fine 
decorations as thofe you boaft of/'—** Not 
perceive them V^ ^d the king ; •• you 
do not look then : behold thefe colours 
(pointing to them in his hat) which I 
gained at the battle of Coutra^, for my 
part of the booty ; the others attached to 
it, I obtained at the battle of Ivry r would 
you then, my coufin, wifh to fee on me 
two finer badges of honour and ornament^ 
to prove myfelf well-dreffed ?" Madame 
de Gttife, with admirable (hrewdnefs, re- 
plied, " I own it. Sire. Youf cannot^ 
however, Ihew me a fingle favour won 
from Monfieur my hu&and/'— ** No,** 


112 Memoirs op 

replied the king, ^* that could not be, fined 
we never met, or attacked each others 
had that happened, I know not how it 
might have been." — ^* Not know how!" 
ireplied, brifkly, Madame de Guife ; ** if he 
did not attack you. Sire, it was owing to 
God who guarded you: in good truths 
he attacked your generals, and beat them 
well ; witnefs Baron Douc, from whom 
he gained noble enfigns, and brave marks 
of honour; this was his triumphal hat, 
which will be his ornament for ever." 

In the life of Chevalier Bayard, there 
is an inftance of this kind, which illuf- 
trates the beauty of his characfter. Being 
declared vidor at the tournament of Ca* 
rignan, in Piedmont, he refufed, from 
extreme delicacy, receiving the reward 
affigned him, faying, /^ The honour he 
had gained was foleiy owing to the lleeve, 
which a lady had given him, adorned with 
a ruby worth a hundred ducats." The 
ileeve was brought back to the lady, 


Ancient Chivaisrv; iij 

in the prefcnce of her hufband; who^ 
knowing the admirable charafter of the 
chevalier, conceived no jealoufy on this 
occafion* ** The ruby/' faid the lady, 
'' fhall be given to the knight who was 
the next in feats of arms to the chevalier ; 
but fince he does me fo much honour, as 
to afcribe his victory to my fleeve, for the 
love of him I will keep it all my life/* 

The viiftors not only made.ofFcrings to 
the ladies of fuch favours, fcut often of 
the knights, and their hoffes, whom they 
overthrew. We ought by ho means to 
tonfidcr thefe prcfents to the knights as 
infigniiicant marks tif afFedion : they had 
teal ufe ; being a means of diftinguifhing 
each knight amohg the multitude of 
fcombatants ; and the hew fupply of thefb 
gifts difcoVered theni, in thd confufed 
heat of the combat, to thofe who defired 
to keep them ever in view. 


114 Memoirs of 

Perceforest gives a curious defcrip- 
tion of an artificial peacock, a bird we 
fhall fee in high confideration, to be Wore 
on the helmet of a knight of the tour- 
nanient. The top of the helmet was the 
moft eminent place on which to attach 
the favours the knights received from the 
ladies. From this originate the mantles 
and crefts in heraldry. 

Not only were the ladies deeply in- 
tereiled in thefe noble combatants^ but 
the attention of all the fpedlators was 
called forth continually towards themj 
each extraordinary ftroke of a lance or a 
fword was celebrated by the martial 
bounds of the mipftrels, and the fhouts 
of the heralds ; a thoufand fhrill cries 
refounded, with repeated burfts, the 
name of the vi<5tor : the heralds, and the 
heralds only, ufing this phrafe in their 
acclanoiations, ** Glory to the foirof the 
bjave !" ** The reaibn of this was," faya 
Monftrelet, *' that, a& there is no knight 


Ancient tJHivAlRY; iijf 

lA the world fo perfedti but he may com-^ 

mit a faulty which will annihilate^ in thd 

public opinion^ his other virtues^ they 

never cry, ^ Olor y to Ac bravcJ' but * to 

the ibn of the braare V for no knight can be 

judged brave, till his term of life is at an 

end. By this alio they would rccal thtfi 

fame of their anceftbrs ; and warn thefe 

knights, that if they diminifhed, in one 

point, the luftre of their chBra£):ers, it 

would deprive them of the fruits of aH 

their labours. Sometimes the cry was^ 

^ Love of ladies ! Death of heroes ! Pmife 

and honour to knights who fuflain toil ! 

'Rewards and arms to him by whom pro- 

ifrcfs and glory is gained in fweat and 

blood i' At the vigils of tQurnament^ 

where the danger was lefs, the cry Was^ 

.•^ Love ef ladies' !— d6ath of hor£^sV' 

The #eward^ g^Ven to the heralds axvl 

" minftfels ffom the cham^ons, for the 

fliouts they raifed in the people, were ire- 

. ceived with added acclamations ; and the 

la founds 

xi6 Mem p IRS of 

3^ founds of * Nobleflc ! ' fignifying Liberality , 
were repeated at oteh new diftribution. 
^* Inthejoufts/' fays Monftrclct, "that 
were made in 1440, for the marriage of 
Mademoifelle de Cleves, niece of the 
duke of Burgundy, with the duke of 
Orleans, in which the Count dc St. Pol 
gained the prize, were given many great 
gifts to all the officers, by the princes 
who were prefent; for which they cried, 
with loud ihouts, ^ Largefs ! Largefs I 
Laigefsj' naming at the fame time thoic 
who had befto wed thcfe bounties / * 

On other occafions, the noble knight^ 
gave to the poor ones, who had none, the 
horfes they had taken ; which, among th<s 
other laws of Chivalry, contributed alfo 
to the gQod of the ftate. A lady thus 
celebrates her champion for this genero- 
'fety : " My champion gives to one his 
waf horfe, to another his ambling pal-* 

3 . 


Ancient Chivalry. 117 

-v Of all virtues, the virtue of gencrofit ^ 
was the moft celebrated by the poets, or 
Troubadours, the romance writers, and 
the jongleurs, or iingdrs of their poems : 
and this alfo tended to the public good, 
by the beneficent fpirit it encouraged; 
and therefore was very wifely recom- 
mended with energy to the knights. The 
romance writers alfo fignalized the fplen- 
dour of their arms, and the richnefs of 
their habits. The remnants torn off in the 
fight, the glittering pieces of armour 
broken and fcattered, the gold and filver 
fpangles, and ornamental parts of the 
drefs, with which the field of battle was 
ftrewed, were all divided among the ht- 
raids and minflrels. 

4 There is a fort of imitation to be 
obferved, of this ancient magnificence, 
in the court of Lewis the Thirteenth, 
when the duke of Buckingham, going 
to the audience pf tKe^ queen7 appeared 
in a habit covered over with pearls, on 
I 3 pul-pofc 

$i8 Memoirs of 

purpofe ill faftened, that they might jfeU 
off as h^ moved aloi>g> and fo furniih hin^ 
Fith a genteel p retext for prefentifl g thcna 
|o thofe^ who iit|Ould pick them up to re-; 
ilore them, 

TiiE principal laws of the toornaments^ . 
called with juftice, in the romance of 
Perceforeft, the Schools of Prowefs^ an4 
|iven, it is fuppofed, by the ep[iperor 
Henry the Fowler, coniifted in neve? 
ftriking with the edge or point, but witl^ 
the flat end of the fword ^ never Arising 
any one on the back, nor to fight out of 
the rank }rr-the kftight who ro4e^C(ut of hi^ 
rank, was anciently held a recreant knight^ 
pr a fool ;r— nor to wound the horfe of hi« 
adverfary. Lancelot de Lac dwells on this 
point/ in the difcourfe held by Hcftor 
with a knight, who had killed his horfe 
^nder him. To do this was efteemed ^ 
great crime in the laws of Chivalry ^ as i| 
Was, likewife, to direA the ftrokcs of the 
}ance ^o aqy other part, except the vijfage 


Ancient Chivalry. 119 

or the breaft-piece. Froiffart, in a very 
curious recital of the joufts, made in 1380 
at Chaftel Jofielin, between certain French 
and Engliih of the two contending ar- 
mies, obferves, that Fermiton, an Englifli, 
and Chaftel Morant, a French knight, 
came on, in a foot tilt, againft each other ; 
the Englifti knight, chancing to flip, run 
his fword quite through the thigh of his 
antagonift, whom, notwithftanding the vi- 
olence of the thruft, he could not over- 
throw : the knights and fquires on each 
fide were enraged, and faid, ' it was a 
villainous pufh:' the Englifli knight ex- 
cufed himfelf, faying, * it hurt him very 
much ; and that, had he known at the be- 
ginning of the jouft he fliould have made 
this wound, he would not have engaged; 
but that he could not recover himfelf; 
for his foot flipped forwaird on his defence 
of himfelf, from the great pufli made at 
him by Chaftel Morant/— It was alfo a 
law never to ftrikea knight when his hel- 
met was off, or his vifor uncovered. In 
I 4 Ferceforeft, 

I20 Memoirs op 

Perceforcft, a knight, who in the heat of 
battle ftruck his adverfary at the momcTnt 
when he had taken off his helmet, makes 
an apology for himfelf, as having been 
guilty of perfidy in fo doing.— It was alfp 
confidered as a crime for feveral to engage 
againft one. The j udge pf peace, who was 
chofen by the ladies with a fcrupulous 
exaftnefs, and habited in a curious man- 
ner (but which would be tedious to re? 
late), was always ready to interpofe his pa- 
cific miniftry, when any knight, who had 
inadvertently violated the laws of the 
combat, hacl thereby drawn againft him- 
felf the enraged arms of feveral combat- 
ants united. This champion, armed with 
a long pike or a lance, furniounted with a 
hood, had no fooner touched the helmet 
of the knight, as a fign of clemency and 
fafeguard from the ladies, than no one 
dared ^o lay hold on the culprit : he was 
abfolved from his fault, when it was be/ 
lieved to be in any way involuntary ; but 
if it appeared to be defignedly committed, 


Ancient Chivalry. 121 

It was by a rigorous punifhment done that 
expiation could be made. Such involun- 
tary errors might very eafily be committed^ 
in the agitation and confufion of the 
knights, caufed by the crowd and tumult 
of thefe combats, which was fometimes 
{o great, and the duft fo thick (fays Per- 
peforeft) that it was impoffible to diftin- 
]gui{h any thing. This it was that caufed 
^ knight, who was unknown, to be ftil^d 
|he * Knight of the Smoke ;' hi§ valour 
drawing all the fpedlators after him, and 
^ fmoke of duft following him every 
where.— Another knight (fays the fame 
author) ftooping in a violent hurry to take 
up the hood of a lady, and being con- 
founded with the nbife and heat of adion, 
he put the hood on his head, inftead of 
his helmet which he had loft 5 in which 
fingular difguife, he became a diverting 
fpedacle to the whole aiTembly. 

V It was juft that thofe ladies, who had 
been the foul of thefe combats, fhould be 


122 Memoirs of 

celebrated with particular honour; the 
knights, therefore, never ended any com- 
bat of lances without a laft jouft, which 
was called, the lance of the ladies > and 
this homage was repeated in fighting for 
them with the fword, the battle-axe, and 
the dagger; the latter was, of all the 
joufts, that in which the knights piqued 
themfqlves on the nobleft efforts of valour 

und fkill. 


In the combat of lances for the ladies, 
the attention of the fpedtators was reani- 
mated, and the weary knights reflored to 
new ardour. ** As foon as the horfes 
fprung forth (fays Lancelot de Lac) there 
was fuch a clattering on their helmets, 
that lances flew in pieces 3 and Gauvain 
took fword in hand, and fell on a knight, 
fhouting out, ^ Ha ! ha ! fire knight ! to 
the fword — to the fword ! it is the rarefl 
delight in the world to joufl ; and I pray 
you, for the love of her you mofl delight 
in, let us tilt, till we can abide no longer, 


Ancient Chivairy, xjj 

nod till we make proof who fhall be ortr^ 
thrown."'?-^AnOther knight holds this dif- 
coiirfe with his adverlary^ after the^<;om- 
bat (in the romance of Flores de Gr^ce) 
^ While we are yet iix>unted, and we have 
plenty of lances, let us yet exchange fomc 
x>kaiant ilrokes ; for, in my opinion, the 
pourie of lances is a more noble combat 
than that of the fword/ The latter, how- 
ever, was by Perceforeft efteemed the moil 
dangerous combat. 

Knights of valour engaged in them 
^11 on different occaiions ; and Saintr£ 
and his companions vowed never to take 
from off their Ihoulders the gage of their 
enterprize in arms, till they had found 
a number of knights and fquires of re- 
fiown, and without reproach like them- 
felves, who fhould engage with them in 
throwing lances, and in the combats of 
(be battle«axe^ the fword, and the dagger. 



124 Memoirs or 

The grand tournament wc have thuS, 
in its various parts, defcribed, being ended, 
they were employed in the care of diftri- 
buting, with all the equity and impartiality 
poffible, the prize that had been propofcd, 
according to the ftrength and dexterity 
that had been fhewn ; either for having 
broken the greateft number of lances; 
given the beft ftroke of the fword or 
lanoe ; for having remained the long^ on 
horfeback without having been difmount- 
cd or overthrown ; or, in fine, for having 
borne the prefs of the crowd the longeft 
on foot, without taking off the helmet, or 
once lifting up the vifor to take breath, 
or relaxing from the fatigue of the en- 

The officers at arms, who had their 
eyes continually fixed on this multitude of 
combatants, made their reports of all that 
had pafTed, before the judges, and the other 
knights nominated to prefide at the joufls. 
They went alfo through all the rank^ to 


Ancient Chivalry. i2j 

colled the voices : in fine^ the fovereign 
princes^ thejudges, and the knights ex- 
prefsly appointed before the tournament, 
pronounced the name of the victor. The 
decifion was often veiled in the ladies, ks 
fovereigns of the tournament; and, at the 
foot of their tribunal, the prize was ad- 
judged to the victorious champion. 

The monk of St. Denys relates a tour- 
nament in 1389, for the knighthood of 
the King of Sicily and his brother, jin 
which he tells us, *' After fupper, the la- 
dies, as judges of the field, and the ho- 
nour of the lifts, decreed the' prize to 
iwo knights. The day following (adds 
he) they refigned the lifts to twenty-two 
fquires, who had faithfully ferved their 
maftcrs, for them to exercife with the 
arms and horfes of their lords. They were 
condu^d thither by as mapy young gen* 
tlewomen, with the fame ceremony and 
the fame authority of judging, and of 
giving the prize to him who ihould beft 



ia6 MEMorfts 6 t 

de&nrc it; and, after having fboght till 
night, with the fuccefe due to their cou- 
fagc, they caijic, at the fupper of the king, 
to receive the decifion of the yotmg gen* 

> The third day > which was to be the 
laft of the JDufts, there was no^ order pre- 
ferved ; the fquires ran in pell-mell with 
the knights, and many great feats were 
done, which were alfo decided by the fuf- 
frage of the hdiqs. In the biftory of ibc 
Chevalier Bayard, it is recorded, that, 
at a tournament he had proclaimed for the 
love of ladies, in the ceremonies ef giving 
^c prize, the nobles and the ladies of the 
city of Aire in Picardy, 'where it pafled, 
^ter many debates, ideclarcd, •* that, as the 
Chevalier Bayard had deferved.theljcft^ he 
ihould himfelf affign the reward to whom 
^he fliould choofe.'' Thisdiftintaion greatly 
ebaihed him, and he ftood ftlent a: few mo-« 
ments ; but rccolleding- himfelf, he faid—- 
•• I know not by what grace this honour 

r 18 

Ancient Chivalry. 127 

is done me • it feems to' me, others have 
been more worthy of it : but, fince it is the 
will of thefe lords and ladies that I flioiild 
be judge,— rcqticfting of all my knights 
companions prcfent^ whofe worth is fo 
much greater than mine, that they will 
not be difpleafed at my award — I give the 
prize of the firft day to my Lord dc Bel- 
iabre, dnd the fecond to Captain David, 
the Scotch gentleman : to them be the 
prefents immediately delivered, and let no 
one murmur thereat." On which they 
began the dances and the paftimes. 

If it chanced, in the adjudging the re- 
ward, it was not given to the hero the ladies 
thought moft worthy, a fecond prize was 
decreed, which was not kfs magnificent 
than the firft, and often more flattering for 
him that received it. A queen (in the 
romance o( Perceforeft) preceded by two 
minftrels plkying before her, and marching 
between two young gentlewomen, who, 
with their hands lifted up, bore along the 


prize, advanced towards the two knigiit^ 
who had equally fhared in the honour of" 
the tournament. She complimented them 
on their valour, faying, ** The king 
might juftly beftow on you, noble youths ! 
the richeft rewards ; but the prefent for 
lovers, and the moft fuited to your age, is 
a chaplet of rofes ; and with thefe you 
ihall both be crowned by thefe young 
gentlewomen : for no one can difccrn 
which has the moft nobly deferved/' 

When the prize was decreed, the officers 
at arms went for the lady or young gen-^ 
tlewoman who was ta prefent it to the 
victor. The kifs, which he had a right to 
receive with this badge of glory, was 
the concluding honour of his triumph • 
Sometimes the prize was given at the lifts—* 
fometimes in the palais, in the midft of 
the diverfions which fucceeded the tour- 
nament. Matthew de Couci, in his hif- 
tory of Charles the Seventh^ fpcaking of 
the feafts of the Duke of Burgundy, re- 


AiaciEiTT ChivaIry. 129 

Utcs, ** that, while they danced in their 
fa(hion, the kings at arms^ and the heralds^ 
with the nobles who were appointed to 
make this enquiry, went to the ladies and 
the young gentlewomen, to know of them 
who it was to whom they adjudged the 
prize, for having the beft joufted, and 
broken points for that day; and it was 
found that M. de Charolois had the beft 
deferved. Then the officers at arms led 
two ladies, who were princefles (Made-^ 
moifelle de fiourbon and Mademoifelle 
d'Eftampes) to deliver the prize, and they 
prefented it to the faid Lord de Charolois^ 
who kiiTed them, as was the cuilom to 
do, and as is the law of Chivalry ; and 
loud were the cries of joy and viftory* 
The prize being adjudged, the knight waS; 
conducted by the ladies into the palace, in. 
the midft of a vaft multitude, the air re- 
fpunding with their acclamations, and the, 
moft exceffive praifes burfting forth from 
thofe who furrounded him ; and the he-*, 
raids, the judges, and the minilrels, with 
K martiid 

130 Memoirs of 

martial founds^ and peals of triamph^ 
completed his glory/' Nor will any, 
who are acquainted with the honours fo 
profufely beftowed in France on military 
talents and virtues, and the prodigious 
number of fpe<^tors who repaired thither 
to the tournaments, be furprized at fuch 
knpreifions made on hearts pafitonatdy 
deirofeed to glory, and who hoped here«. 
after to obtain an equal fhare of applaufe* 
The Olympic Games, celebrated by Pindar 
with all the pomp of fublime poetry, and^ 
the triumphs of ancient Rome, do not 
exhibit a more g^ious recompence. In 
one refped. Chivalry was fuperior > for it 
bumbled not the vanquifhed. Thefebluih- 
ed not to exah the prowefs of the vi^or 1 he 
might another time yield to their fkill 1 
and hia bravery heightened, as it were, 
the glory of their defeat. Neither the wif- 
dom of Greece, nor the policy of Rome„ 
had conceived any fyftem more noble, Qf 
more ufeful to form brave partifans and 
defenders of their country* 


Ancient CtiivAtRV* i^t 

The hero, thu« conduftcd into the pa^ 
Uce, was diiarmed by the ladies, who 
cloathed htjn anew in rich habits. When 
he had taken fomc repofe, they led him into 
the ball, where the prince was waiting to 
receive bim, and caufed him to fit down 
in the moil honourable place at the jfeaft, 
expofed to the obfervation and admiration 
of the gaeils and the fpedators, and often 
fcnred 1^ the ladies. Encircled with fo 
much glory, he would have required the 
warning given to the ancient vi<ftorS| 
* Remember thou art mortal,' if the pre- 
cepts of Chivalry had not taught him, 
that fimplicity and modefty alone gave a 
luftre to vidtory ; and if he had not been 
direded, from a child, to be the lafl: w ho 
ihould fpeak high things, and the £fft 
who fhould do diemr^to be mild among 
the aged, and ilout among the brave-^ 
and diat be could never prai& himielf too 
little, or others too much. Lancelot de 
Lac defcribes, in his romance, a young 
hero, feated at table betweeft the king and 
the queen^ fo. embarraiied tend timid, a^ 
K 2 not 

132 Memoirs of 

not to be able to look up, though he had 
juft before won the prize, and had bcert 
covered with glory in a tournament. 

The fame principles of modefty infpired 
the knights, who were vifiors, with the 
kindeft attention to confole the van- 
quifhed, and foften their concern. * To- 
day (fay they to thofe who held out their 
hands to them in gratulation of their 
yiftory) fortune and the fate of arms, not 
my fuperior valour, .give me the advan- 
tage : to-morifow, perhaps, I may fink un- 
der th? ftrokes of an enemy far lefs pow- 
erful than yourfclf. 

These examples of humanity, and the 
leflbns of generofity, fo often repeated in 
the tournaments, were not forgotten, even 
in the fury of war, and amidft the car- 
nage of battle— the knights were as com- 
paffionateaftcr> as inflexible before vidlory. 

The French and the Englifli, with- 
out debating (as has been done) to which 


Ancient Chivalry. i'33' 

nation Chivalry owes its origin^ have ever 
ufed fuch humanity and faith towards 
their prifoners> that they have been mu-- 
tually the firmeft fupporters of its laws, 
and have perfevered in proving the fpirit 
of them, when their neighbouring nations 
have given horrid examples of barbarity 
and treachery to their unhappy priibners. 
Olivier de la Marchej, in his Memoirs, 
gives a pleafing inflance of generofity in 
James de Lalain and Pi^tois, two knights, 
in 1450, who, in a combat on foot, hav- 
ing overthrown each other, were raifed up 
again by the afliftants, and brought to the 
judges, who caufed them to . embrace, in 
Ijgn of peace; and when Lalain, from, 
modcfty, would have fent his bracelet to 
Pietois, according to the convention agreed 
on for the peace, Pietois declared, * that 
having been overthrown as well as Lalain, 
he confidercd himfelf as equally obliged to 
give him his bracelet/ This new combat 
of politenefs ended by faying no more 
^hovLt the bracelet, and by accepting from 
K 3 each 

134 Memoirs or 

each other a much richer gift ; for a ftri<Sk 
bond of friendfhip was formed betw^n 
tbefe generous enemies. 

The exploits of the different adtors in 
the tournanjent% their prowcfs, their vi^ 
gour, and ^drefs ; the adrentures of the 
ancient knights^ and the heroes who hadi 
eilabli^ed the glory of the nation and of 
knighthood, was the fubjcdt of the con- 
verfations at and after the feafts. They in-» 
fcribed them in the public and authentic 
regifters of (he officers at armsj and they 
were the matter of the poems, lays, and 
fongs, fung or recited by the ladies, the 
young gentlewomen, and the minflrelsj^ 
who joined their voices herein with all 
forts of iaftrvmcnts. 

Lancelot de Lac an4 Perceforeft 
make mention of the regifters, in which 
the clerks infcribed the marvellous adr 
ventures performed ; and each knight waa 
obliged to relate thofe he had gone thrq* 


Ancient Chivalry. 135 

to the clerks charged with the keeping of 
thefe public regifters> and to atteft the 
truth of them on oath. ^ Matthiew do 
Couci, a graver authority, after an enu- 
meration of the vows made by the guefts, 
at the banquet given at Lille, in 1453, 
adds, *• fuch were the vows which were 
made to the faid king at arms of the 
Golden Fleece ; which vowk I have here 
regiftered, as exa^ly as I might, accord- 
ing to his ordonnance, which he had 
made, as he faid, according to, and by 
the order which had been given him in 

It may be reafonably fappofed that 
more folid monuments conveyed, fome- 
times, to poftcrity, the names of the vic- 
tors at the joufts. Father Defrey, the 
continuator of Monftrelet, informs us, 
* that in memory of a folemn tournament^ 
given by Charles the Eighth at Lyons, 
in I495> three pillars of ftone were ere^ft*- 
ed, on which were coropofed« in Latin 
K 4 . verfe. 

^36 Memoirs O; f 

verfe, in a curious ftile, th^ iiagular ac-M 
tions of this grand jouft^ of which the 
tfiid King Charles the Eighth was tho 
principal fupportcr^ 

The games that a curious fpedtator 
might have feen in the apartments of the 
palace, at the end of the feafts which were 
given after the tournaments, were lefs amufe-» 
ments of idlenefs, or ruinous diverfions, 
than occafions of exercifing the wit, the 
ikill, the imagination, and the Ulents of 
thofe prefent j for he might have obferve4 
the ladies and the knights play at chefs^ 
(a game which is looked upon, with 
reafon, as the rudiment of tadtics, the 
moft judicious and leaft equivocal part of 
the military art) : and if the faid fpedator 
had lent his ear to the difcourfes of the 
ladies, he would have heard them animate 
the courage of their refpe(£tive lovers by 
eulogies on thofe knights, who had ap- 
peared in the joufts with the greateft eclat; 
and by the teftimonies of efteem and grati-^ 

Anoien-t Chivaljiy. 157. 

tude they moft liberally befto^d on thole 
their beloved fervants, who had excelled 
in valour. To infpirc alfo this love of 
glory, the ladies vrarmed their ambition by 
proverbs and couplets in their difcourfes*;. 
as, ' He that would fccure a horfe of gold^ 
m\i& firft ieize him by the bridle i' &c« . 

In a converfation that pafied between 
the Chevalier ^^yard, and the Lady of 
Fluxasy as related in the old and fcarce 
manufcript of the Chevalier's hiftorian, 
publiihed by Theodt Godefroy, it is very 
fimply and beautifully reprefented, that, 
nothing is imppdible %o the ardent and 
^fpiring mind. At thefe entertainments 
it was^ that future fcenes of honour and 
a<Slivity were contrived and propofed— new 
prizes of merit, not only in the tourna--. 
pientSt but in the dangerous and b}oody 
enterprizes of war ; fuch as the taking 
prifoners, gaining pofts of importance^ 
fcaling walls, &c. In the hiftory of John 
4e Saintre, the lady to v^hom he hfli, 


13$ M^Mciitsof 

given his hearty propofed to him jouftf 
and ccHiibati againft the Bnglifh ; believ- 
ing (he coald not give a greater proof of 
tenderneft to her lover, than in 0iewing 
this lively intcrcft in his glory. It was by 
this means, according to FroiHart, a lady 
made trial whether her lover was. worthy 
of her. — ^^ A knight of Bourbonnois^ 
named Bonnelance, a valiant man in arms, 
gracious and loving, being at Montfer* 
rand in Auvergne, in great diveriion and 
pleafctre with the ladies and young gentle** 
women, they preffed him to engage in fome 
exploit againft the Englifli. One of them, 
whom he loved the beft, told him, that flid 
ihould like, of all things, to behold an 
Englifliman. • If I can be fo hippy to take 
one alive (replied he) I will bring him to 
you/ Some time after this, he was ena- 
bled to make good his promife ; and, to 
the great delight of the ladies and the 
young gentlewomen, brought back to 
them, among the prilbners he had gained, 
^me Englifhmen ; and addrefiing himfelf 


Akcieht Chivalry* 139 

to the lady who defired an EngUihman^ 
^ Here are feveral (faid he) ; I will leave 
them all in this city under your care, till 
^cy (hall find thofe who will pay their ran-^ 
fom/ The ladies laughed, and cried * Gram-t 
merci/ and Bonnelance turned this event 
into great revelry and delight, furrounded 
with ladies fo ple^fant and debonair/' 
So MB hiflorians have faid, that the 
defire of glory was the fole motive of 
Charles the Seventh's union with the 
beautiful Agnes Sorel ; it certainly con-* 
tributed to the forming of it- This was 
the principle of the tendernefs fbewn by 
the ladies to thefe knights j and an able 
fyftem of politics encouraged and con- 
i^rmed, in the latter, thefe impreflions, fo 
well fuited to the ardour and elevation of 
their natural difpofitions. The fongs of 
the gcfts, atchievements, or military hif- 
tories, and other poems compofed to ce- 
lebrate the tournaments, fpread abroad 
through all the courts in the world, and 
carried, on the fwift wings of fame, the 


140 ' M EM o I R a or ; 

jpune and glory of the vidors ; wiarmed all: 
hearts, and excited the moft noble ^mu-^ 
lation* This alfo was the great view 
of the romance writers and hiftorians; 
and the preamble of every work, whether 
in profe or verfe, compofed at this time, 
i$ a proof that the fame fpirit of glory, and 
martial enterprize, reigned in all ranks 
and orders of the ftate, Du Guefclin,* a 
pnfoner of the Englifh,. relied, with rca- 
fon> on the love that reigned in the hearts^ 
of the ladies for heroic virtues : When be- 
ing made the arbiter of his own ranfom, 
he fixed it at an exceflive fum, the Prince 
of Wales, amazed at his prefumption, afked 
him * by what means he would ever be 
able to pay it ?' ^ I have friends (replied 
he) i the kings of France and Caftile will 
not fail me in my need : I. know a hun- 
dred knights in Bretagne, who will fell 
their lands to redeem me ; and there is not 
a woman in France, now fpinning at her 
diftafF, who would not work her hands off 
to deliver me out of yours : and if all the 


ANd'ifeNT Chivalry. t4< 

amiable fpinners in France are employed 
to gain my liberty, do you think I fhal! 
remain much longer with you ?' — V?Iouf 
and virtue could alone iafpire fuch affui'-*. 
ance in a man, who, contrary to the cuf- 
tom of noble knights, was the uglieft 
man in France. In fadl, his prediftions 
were verified; and the Queen of England, 
wife of Edward the Third, was Que of the 
firft to contribute to the ranfom of this 
enemy of her nation : on tvhich, thrbw- 
ing himfelf at her feet, to teftify his grati- 
tude, he faid, * I had till now believed T 
was the uglieft man in France ; but, from 
this moment of your majefty*s high 
bounty, I fhall begin to conceive great 
things of myfelf ; and well I may, by fo 
fair a hand thus enriched and honoured/ 
With this love of glory Alain Chartier 
was infpired, in a poem, in which he 
introduces four ladies, who are relating 
the different fate of their lovers, each of 
whom were at the bloody battle of Agin- 
court : one was killed ^ another made pri- 

foncr ; 

142 Memoirs ol^ 

(oner; the third was loft in the battle^ 
tnd never heard of more ; the fourth was 
fafe» but he owed his fafety to a ihameful 
flight : ' Ah ! woe is me ! (laid the lady 
of this bale knight) for having placed my 
aflfcdioa on a coward!— he would have 
been dear to me deadj but alive he is my 
reproach 1'— In this fentiment the poet 
was the hiftorian of the foul ^ for this 
magnanimity of fpirit^ and this efteem of 
courage^ and ardour to fupport it» were 
engraven on the tendereft hearts ; and were 
the rich fruits of ancient Chivalry, which 
burft forth, and nourished that multitude 
of heroes, who have eternized the honour 
of the French nation. 


Ancient Chivalry. 143: 

PART ni. 

THE tournaments were only devifecl 
to keep inaftion the ConB of war, and 
particularly vrhen^ in the times of peace, 
they had no other: employments for their 
courage. They were always dangerous^ 
and fometimes faital ; many being erased 
to death in the crowd, beiides thofe who 
were killed in the combat. .Fauchet fays, 
** Robert, Count of Clermont in Beau- 
voific;, tlie fon of St. Loot*, and a fir^ 
chief of the ho»fe, which is now called 
the Houfe of Bourbon, received, in one of 
thefe touraamtnt^, to utaisy blows vr'ah a 
raace^ that he wa« never well through hi£^ 
Rfc/* ^« Kaout count d* Eti, conftablc of 
France, loft his life,*^ ikya Bt* Denys, 
^' in 1344* at the joufts that were made 
1 for 

144 Memoirs op \ 

lor the marriage of Philip, the fon of* 
Philip de Valois.'* But the moft bloody 
of the tournaments was that made at 
Nuys, in which,' according "to Philip 
Mouikes, there were fourfcore and two 
knights, and as many fquires, who were 

The objed of thefe games, juAly 
called Schools of Prowcfs, was the fame 
as that of our camps in peace ; they were 
to form new warriors, and perfeft the old 
in the management of arms, and in mili-. 
tary evolutionis ; for fo they are called in 
theHiftory of JcruMem, written in 1 177* 
In thefe fchools of war the mailers in- 
formed themfelves of the talents of their 
pupils; kept up the habit of command; 
ftudied, with more reflexion and with lefs 
peril, the manoeuvres to be formed againft 
the enemy; and, while they applied: 
themfelves to render thefe attempts more 
regular and more fure, th^ tried to in- 
vent new ftratagems of annoyance and 


Ancient Chivalry. 145 

defence. For addnefs and fkill were of 
more confequence^ ia the jouft, than 
ftrength ; and the moft vigorous were of- 
ten overthrown by theweakeO:^ who pof- 
fefied the art of tilting^ and knew the im* 
portance of the different ftrokes aimed at 
the enemy, and to pctrry them in fuch a 
manner> as not to lofe the equilibrium. 
Pradlice was, of all other thing$» the moft 
neceiTary, ,to arrive at this pwfedlion ; as 
Is affirmed by Brantdme^ in his eulogy 
on the Marquis de Guaft» 

Th£ origin of the tournaments is ge- 
nerally agreed to be in the eleventh cen^ 
tury; but they may be traced from the 
times in which war was regularly carried 
on, and reduced to principles of art. Their 
.great objed^ which in their firfl: eftablifh- 
ment was perfeftly anfwered^ was, to ref- 
cue from idlenefs, and to infpire and 
preferve courage in time of peace. In a 
more exteniive view, they are to be con- 
fidered as only weak images, and trivial ef- 

L fays, 

146 Memoirs op 

fays^ of military expeditions and battles. 
It was the enterprizes of war, in the cru- 
iades^ that infpired the moft pprfeA ar- 
dour^ «id which were announced and 
publifhed with a pomp and preparation 
calculated to animate every, warrior, who 
wiflied to concur iat, and partake of, their 
glory. They were alfo fealed by public 
a€ts, which religion, honour, and love, 
whether united dr feparate, rendered 
equally irrevocable; and. the generals 
and foldiers were engaged, by iacred oaths 
and vows, from which there was no dii^ 
peniation, to (hed every drop of their blood, 
rather thanhetray or abandon, in any fitu- 
ation whatever, the intereft of the flsite. 

Whether thcfe engagements went 
moft ferious, or only trials of (kill, the 
knights wore, in them, chains, or dlher 
badges,, feftefned by the hands ttf the la^ 
dies ; who often granted them a kife, ef- 
teemed a facred pledge of affeftiori, as 

"V Saintni 

Ancient Chivaxry. 147 

Baintr^ acknowledged to have received 
from his miftrefs. 

These badges, which they never after 
ceafed to vrear, were the pledges of what- 
ever enterprize they engaged in ; and 
which they fwore, on their knees, and on 
the gofpels, to fulfil. We may trace the 
origin of thefe chains, confidered as the 
fymbols of an engagement, to the time of 
Tacitus, who relates fomething of the 
fame kind, in the manners of the Ger- 
mans } where, fpeaking of the Catted, he 
fays, " Infolvent debtors become the 
flaves of their creditors, wearing chains 
as well as the other flavcs ; only with this 
diftinftion^ that, inftead of feveral irons, 
they have only one ring of iron round 
their arm." The penitents, in the pilgri- 
mages in which they devoted themfelves 
equally debtors to the church, wore alfo 
chains, as a mark of their flavery ; and 
it was from them, no doubt> the knights 
to(jk the like, as a badge of their vows 

L 2 in 

14S Memoirs op 

in arms. ** A Polonefe lord," fays Sain- 
tre, " who came to the court of France^ 
wore two rings of gold, one below the 
filbow of his right arm, and the other 
above his inftep, both of them faftened 
together by a long chain of gold; and 
t^^efe he wore for the fpace of five years, 
till he found a knight or fquire of arms, 
without reproach, who fhould unloofe 
them; to accomplifli which the more 
honourably, he came to the court of 
France, where noble and valiant knights 
were gracioufly received." The Abbe de 
Vertot relates, from the Memoirs of Pie- 
refc, that John de Bourbon, in 141 7, to 
avoid idlenefs, acquire glory, and obtain 
the grace of his lady, made a vow, with 
fixteen other knights and fquires of re- 
nown, to wear, for two years, every Sun- 
day, on their left leg, a prifoner's ring 
(that of fhe knights was to be gold, and 
the fquires filver) till they fhould find 
the fame number of knights and fquires 
with whom to combat. Olivier de la 


Ancient Chivalry. 149" 

Marche relates the formalities obferved at 
taking off thefe badges : ** Galiot/' fays 
he, " in the engagements of horfe and 
foot at the court of Burgundy, propofing 
himfelf to accept the challenge given by 
the lord of Ternant, he kneeled down be- 
fore the duke of Burgundy, requefting of 
him leave and licence to touch the badge 
worn by the lord of Ternant. The good 
duke raifed him up, and gave him per- 
miffion. Galiot then aiked the king at 
arms, and the heralds, ^ what was the 
cuftom of the country ?' faying, * that in 
his country, when the candidate wrefted 
the badge from his companion, the life 
of the one or the other muft pay for it ; 
but when he only touched it, it was for 
the honour of Chivalry.* They replied, 
* Such was their cuftom alfo/ On which 
he advaAced, and kneeling low, he faid, 
' Noble knight, I touch your badge ; and 
with the will of God you fhall help me 
to fulfil my wifhes for your honour.' 
'The lord of Ternant thanked him very 
' L 3 humbly. 

150 MBMoiEa or 

humbly, and welcomed him to the feat 
of arms he defired to accomplifh/' Thus 
wc fee it was neceflary to have tHc Ic^ve 
of the lord of the court where they re- 
iided. Saintr^ having failed in this z6t 
of fubmiilion, the king faid to him 
and his companions, who came to him, 
after the combat, to afk his perm(ffion, 
'* My friends, you ad like thofe who 
marry their coufin, and then feek for ^, 
difpenfation." He granted them, how* 
ever, the badges which the ladies had 
failened on their ihoulders. 

Jy The religion of the times fuggeilied 

other vows, of a more particular kind : 
which conlifted'in vifiting feveral holy 
places ; in depoiiting their arms, or thofe 
of a vanquifhed enemy, in the temples 
or monafteriesi in Rafting, and other 
cxercifes of penitence. In the hiftory of 
Bertrand du Guefclin, it is recorded, 
that du Guefclin, before he departed 
for a courfe of arms, propofed by an 


Ancxent Chivalay. 151 

Engliihman; heard^mafs ; and» when he 
was making the offering at the altar^ he 
alfo offered to God the arms he promifed 
to ufe againft the infidels^ if he became 
vidor. Soon after this, he had a chal* 
lenge to maintain a^inft another Eng- 
liihxhan; the Engliihman, throwing down 
his gage of battle^ fwore he would ne^ 
ver fleep in bed till he had accomplifhed 
it. fiertrand, taking up the gage, vowed 
to eat only three fops in wine, in the name 
of the Holy Trinity, till this combat 
was over. Thefe fads, from hiftorian: , 
juftify the old romance writers ; and h- 
lighten fome obfcure palTages in Dante, 
and other ancient authors. 

Personal valour didated alfo iingu- 
lar vows ; of which the following are 
examples : '* James d' Endel^," fays 
Froiffart in his hiftory, •* had made a 
vow, that, in the next battle in which the 
king of England, or either of his fons, 
(hould appear, he would be the firft af-- 
li 4 failant. 




152 'Memoirs or 

failanty the beft warrior on their fide^ or 
that he would "die in the attempt."— Du 
Guefclin^ being at the fiegc of Montcon-- 
tour, fwore never to eat meat, nor put off 
his cloaths, day or nigh^ till he had 
taken the place ; and his fquire of ho-^ 
nour, at the fiege of Breffiere, in Poitou, 
promifed, before God, to plant; that day, 
on the tower of the city, the banner of 
his mafter, which he carried, crying, 
" Du Guefclin! Du Guefclin T' or to 
jdie in the attempt,— ^The iame hiftory 
reports, ' that the belieged made vows to 
eat all their, beafts, and, as their laft re^ 
/ource, to eat one another, in the rage of 
hunger, rather than yield the town ; 
while the befiegers, on their part, fwore 
to maintain the fiege through their lives ; 
and die in battle, or take the place by the 
force of aflault.— The mod extraordinary 
of thefe vows, was that of the peacock, or 
pheafant, made by the knight on the bird, 
as will be prefcntly related. Thefe noble 
birds, for fo they were ftiled, perfeSly 


Ancient Chivalry. 153 

reprefented, by the brightnefs and variety 
of their colours, the majefty of their 
kings, and the fuperb vcftments with 
which they were adorned, when they 
held their pleniary or full courts, 

- The old romancers obfervc, that the 
peacock and phealant were, as well as 
venifon, the particular food of brave and 
gallant knights. *^ Gafton, the fifth of 
that name,'' fays Favin, ^' who had been 
created a peer of France by Charles the 
Seventh, betrothed to the daughter of that 
prince, Magdalen of France, and adorned 
with the order of the Star, determined to 
celebrate thefe accumulated honours by a 
magnificent feaft, given at Tours, in 1458, 
to be followed by joufts, which he or- 
dered to be publiflied abroad. This ban- 
quet was compofed of five fcrvices, and 
feven entremets, or fmall plates of dainties, 
ufually ferved at the tables of the great, 
juft before the fruit. In one of thefe 
entremets they brought, in a large veflel, ^ 


154 M» M I R t OF 

peacock alive, which had at its neck 
the arms of the queen of France; and 
round the vefiel were ranged variou» 
flags and ftreamers,. carrying the arms of 
all the princefles and ladies of the court; 
who were very proud of this honour ihewn 
them hy the Count de Foix : and fo mkg-> 
nificent was this feaft, that it appeared an 
earthly paradife. Thefe entremets were 
firft devifed to occupy the guefts in the 
interval between the grand fcrvice^. They 
were exhibited before the reign of Su 
Louis, at the marriage of his brother Ro*- 
berty at Compiegne, in 1237 1 and by 
Charles the Fifth, at a feaft he gave, in 
1 378, to the king of the Romans. " The 
remains of this ancient magnificence,** 
fays DeThou, ^* were feen at the marriage 
of the prince of Navarre, in 1572, with 
the fifter of the king ; and at another feaft, 
which the queen gave, the following year, 
to the duke of Anjou, king of Poland : 
and a tafte for thefe ancient pleafures was 
preferved, at Florence, to the year 1600^ 


Ancieht .CmvAJaRY. 155^ 

at the banquet giten» in that city^ for the 
marriage of Mary dc Medicis with Henry 
the Fourtht 

The plumage of the fine birds pre« 
fented at thefe fplendid entertainments, 
was coniideredy by the ladies in Provence, 
as the richeft ornament with which they 
could decorate the Troubadour, who ce«« 
lebrated their praife : the feathers were 
interwoven in the crown, given as a re* 
compence for the poetic talents he con-* 
fecrated to the celebration of valour and 
of gallantly : and a figure of the peacock 
was the prize of the knights themfelvea. 
At a feaft, given for the peace made in 
1659, by the city of Marfeilles, " the 
Troubadours,'' fays father M^neftrier, 
^' came crowned with peacocks feathers, 
which had been formally devoted to them 
by the ladies of Provence. The eyes, re* 
prefented in their plumage, exprefled the 
attention of all the world to thefe Trou^- 
badours/' Pope Paul the Third iant to 


156 Memoirs of 

king Pepin a confecratcd fword; and ac- 
companied it with a mantle interwoven 
with the peacock's feathers. 

But the higheft glory of this bird, was 
the mof); fingular vow made on it, which 
was performed in the following manner : 
—The day on which the knights were to 
take their folemn vows, a peacock or 
pheafant, fometimes roailed, but always 
dreifed and garnifhed out with its fineft 
feathers, was brought in, with great dig- 
nity, by the ladies, or the young gentle- 
women, in a large gold or iilver vefTel, in 
the midft of a numerous company of 
aiTembled knights. They prefented this 
difh to each knight, who made his vow 
on the bird ; after which, they carried it 
back» and placed it on a table, to be 
diftributed among the aiiiftant$^:i "The 
fkill of the perfon who carved it, confifted 
in dividing t^e parts fo nicely, that all 
prefent might have a ihare. In the ro- 
ipance of l^^celot de l^ac, there is a gres^t 
9 eulogy 

Amcibnt Chivalry. 157 

eulogy given to Kin g Ar tus> for having 
carved the peacock, at the round table, fo 
much to the fatisfadlion of a hundred and 
fiftjrknights, fcated at the feaft, that they 
Teere all content with the ihare affigned 

The old romancers, who wrote on 
this (ingular vow, inform us» that the 
ladies, or young gentlewomen, after pre- 
fenting the bird to every knight, chofe 
one of the moft valiant knights to accom*^ 
pany them in this ceremtony^ and to direct 
the peacock to that knight whom he ef- 
teemed the braveft; which being done^ 
the knight eledked cut up the bird^ and 
diftributed it in his fight. So high a pre- 
ference beilowed on eminent valour was 
not accepted^ till after a long and modeil: 
refinance, and confefling themfelves the 
leaft worthy of this honour : in the fame ' 
manner as the knights, admitted into the 
order of the Holy Ghoft^ protefted they 



f j8 Memoiks of 

Were wholly nndefemng of fo glorious i 

The acxouttt of the fingukr Gcrcmony 
which paflcd at Liflc, alfo, in 1453, ^^ 
the conferring this' order, at the cottrt of 
Philip, the good duke of Burgundy^ is too 
cutiotrs to be omitted. It was exhibited 
upon occasion of the crufade againft the 
Turics, when the conq'ueft of the caftern 
empire was accomplifhed, by the taking 
of Conftantinople ; and is thus defcribed 
by Matthew de Couci> arid Olivier dc la 
Marche, who were at this feaft : — •* The 
ii'eceffary time for the preparations, and 
anrivrf of the knights, was paffed in 
feveral feafls given by the principal 
lords ; the laft of which was that of the 
duke of Cleves, when they proclaim- 
ed the banquet of his unde the duke of 
Burgundy ; which, according to the nstn- 
cient cuftom, was to be given eighteen 
days from that time. The proclamation 
was thus made : A lady, mounting on the 
3 tabic 

Ancient Xhivalry. 15^ 

•table where the duke of Burgundy was 
£ssLttd, by a ftep made fdr that purpofe^ 
kneeled down before him> and placed on 
the head of that prince, a chaplet, or crown 
of flowers : from hence the cuftom of of- 
fering, at ballsj a nofegay to the perfoh 
who is to give the next entertainment* 
When the eighteen days were paffed, the 
duke of Burgundy drew together hts 
whole courts and the nobility df his dif- 
ferent ilates^ to his banquet, which was 
the aimunciation of the high myfteries of 
religion and of knighthood : When, if the 
'mtitgnificence of the priiice wis admined 
In the multitude and abundance of thte 
(erviceSy it was ftill more confpicuous in 
the elegant fpedacles difpkyed in the en^ 
tmnets, or curious and dainty difhes, 
brought in between the fehrices and thte 
fruits; by which the feaft was rendered 
more pompous and amufing. There ap- 
peared, in the hall, divers decorations; ma- 
chined, figures of men, and extraordinary 
4n^mal5| trees, mountains, rivers, and a 


i6o Me m o I r s or. 

fea, with veflels on it.: all thefe objeds 
were intermixed with pcrfonages, with 
birds, and other living aninoials^ who wefe 
in motion in the hall, or on the great 
table, and reprefented the actions relative 
to the deiign the duke had formed ; which 
was, to exhibit the feails of the palace of 
Alcine, in the ancient court of France* 
It is ailoni&ing to conceive what mud 
have been the extent of the hall> which 
contained fo fpacious a table, or rather fp 
vaft a theatre, with the ground neceflary 
for the action ; of fo many machines and 
perfons ; without reckoning the multitude 
of the guefts, and the crowd of fpe^fcatora. 
In the midfl of this fpedacle entered fud«- 
.denly a giant, armed in. the ancient man^- 
jier of a Moor of Grenada ; he led an ele*- 
phant, who carried a caftle on his back, 
in which was a lady, bathed in tears, and 
drefTed in long mourning habits, as a nuot 
or devotee to the cloyfter. When fhc 
came into the hall, and was in the midft 
of the aflembly, fhe recited a poem of 



three ftan^as, which commanded the gi* 
ant to ftop ; but he^ looking on her with 
^ fixed eyei continued his niarch till he 
came to the table of the dttke. At that 
moment the captive lady^ who reprefeilted 
Religioni madeal&ng complaint^ in verfe^ 
on the calamities ihe fufFered from the 
tyranny of the infidels j and rejproached 
the lukewarmnefs of thofe» who oilght to 
have fuccoured and delivered her. When 
this lamentation was over, the king at 
arms^ of the order of the Golden Fleece^ 
preceded by a long file of ofiiccfS at arms^ 
and carrying on his hc!ad a Jiheafatit alivc^ 
which was ornannen ted '^ith a golden cdllarji 
enriched with pearls atid pfecioUs f^ones^ 
advanced towards the duke of Burgundy, 
thd prefented to him two yoUng ladies; 
the one 6f Whom was Yolande^ the natural 
daughter of that prince- and the other,' 
Ifabel of Neufchatel, daughter of thd 
lord de MontfligU ; each accom jfeinied hf 
a knight of the Golden Fleece, At the famd 
M timcy 

time^ the king zX^vmf o^fesedta tb« duk» 
t;he bird he carjiedj in thf qampr of th^fi^ 
l^ie^i who. recqnimended themfelvAg ta 
t^e protedion o£ t^eir fbverei^^ ij» coor^ 
^rmity to the wcient cuftomjs^ ^tficfit^iingi 
to which>. iA. the great feaft& ao4 noble; af- 
iembliesy they preiented to the pyiticep,, 
Iprd^, and noble Udies,^ apeacock^ or fbme^ 
othei^ ro]gal bird, on which to make vows^ 
fp.rvicaable to thofe ladies who^fhould im.- 
plpre their afliilance. The duke^ after 
having attentively liftened. to the petition, 
of the king at arms,, returned^ a. billet,, 
which was read ^loud, and began in thefe 
words : " I vow to God my Creator^ and 
to the glorious. Virgin his mother; and, 
after thefe to the ladies and the pheafants, 
&c.** It further contained, folcmnpro- 
mifes (the grand intent of this allegorical^ 
exhibition) to carry the war amongft the> 
ipfidels, for the defence of the oi^piefTe^i 
churchy a^d that caflle, in which this &Xk^ 
gular ceremony was reprefentejt* ' 

** Thb. 

Anci«nt CttivAtRY. i6i 

*^ The vow made by the diilce (fays 
Olivier de k Marche) v^s the fignal of att 
the other vow^j each of Which hald ilk 
viewi the proving tHcir courage agaiiift 
Ae Turks; and fome arbitrary ^eriarifcrf 
was addedj as, to abftaiit from wind arid 
meat on certain days^ not to flcep iti a bed^ 
not to eat on a table-cloth> fo wear ffittti? 
of hair or armour next the ikin> &c. tiff 
thefe engagements were pcfformed";^^ 

The eondufioit o£^ thefe vows wtis ce- 
lebrated by a Aew fpeftacle. A lady^ dttfkd^ 
in white, in the habit of a nunj beadAj^ 
on her fhoulder a fcroll, on which was 
i^ritten, '^ Grace of God/' in letteies of 
gold, came t6 thank the allfembly; ari<5 
prefcnted twelve ladies, eonduifted by a* 
many knights. Thefe ladies rcprefented dijpi' 
fercnt virtues; the name of each, every lady 
Carried alfo on her fhoulder, marked on a^ 
billet or brevet ; and* that they were to bk 
of this expedition, to infure its fufccefe* 
When they had paffed in review, one after 
Ma the 

164 Memoirs o^ 

the other prefentcd their brevet to Grace 
of God, who read them> and recited, at the 
end of each, in a couplet of eight verfes, 
the names of the ladies ; which were. 
Faith, Juftice, Charity, Reafon, Prudence, 
Temperance, Strength, Truth, Liberality, 
Diligence, Hope, Valour ; 'all which were 
to exprefs the virtues neceffary to a true 
and perfed knight, Thefe ceremonies 
over, they all began to dance in figures, 
and were fumptuoufly feafted ; and with 
thefe allegorical and magnificent enter- 
tainments ended this noble and joyfal 

These were ages in which men had 
need of fenfible objefts to roufe their 
activity, and to move and excite them 
to worthy adtions j and perhaps there is 
no period in which they have not, in fome 
meafure, been found neceffary. The ikill 
and judgment is Ihewn in making ufe of 
the means, and fixing on fuch entertain- 
ments, to effed this, and pronMrte the 


Ancient Chivalry. 165 

caufe of virtue and religion, as are bcft 
adapted to the fpirit of the times, and the 
charafter of the nation wherein they are 
exhibited. Such were the train of cere- 
monies we have juft recited. They were 
the neceflary fpur to animate the knights, 
who would otherwife have been difcou- 
raged by the miferies of the crufades, and 
the vaft cpnquefts of the Turks. The ra- 
pid march of thefe brave knights ^tovrards 
the country of the infidels, though parti- 
cular caufes defeated their projed, was a 
proof of that ardour, for which they were 
fo juftly renowned. 

On the creation of knights (more of 
whom were made in thefe military expe^^ 
ditions than in times of peace) the fword 
was prefented, by the handle, to the prince, 
or the general, by whom the honour was 
to be conferred 5 and this wijs all the 
ceremonial. Poflibly, an acknowledged 
valour was a fufficient title; and this 
kind of knighthood gave only the rights 
M 3 ^nd 

i66 Memoirs of 

find privileges attached to the perfon, buf 
jiot thofe which paflcd, in general progref- 
jfion,. from father to fon ; and here was cer* 
tainly no oath required. There was never 
smy important event in war, which was 
not either preceded or followed by a pro- 
motion of knights. The entry of armies, 
or the difembarking of fleets, into the 
country of the enemy; the marches; the 
retreats ; the parties fent on fcouts ; the 
pai|ages over bridges and rivers; the at-? 
^ck and defence of places, of their fub- 
Vrbs, pallifadoes, barriers, caftles, towers, 
or platforms, in the nudft of a caflilei 
iallies, ambufcades, encounters, and battles 
9n land and on fea; — all thefe circumflances 
of war raifed continually to the ilate i^ew 
defenders, under the title of knights; 
^hich was granted them as a reward for 
their defire to fpiJl th^ir blood in defence 
^f their country, or for having thijs 
gravely engaged in its caufe, — Froiflart^ 
who gives many inftances of thefe pmmch- 
liQQS, remarks, thati at the attack of the 


j^i&does 43f Paris» by the King of Etig^ 
land, in 1359, he would have thus ho*- 
houred his body-fquire, Colart d'Auber- , 
thicoxnt ; btrt the latter cxcufed himfelf, 
faying, that he could not fi«d his helmet; 
which was an effential piece of arittour id 
diefe promotions. At the fiege of Bourges, 
in 1412, there were made five hundred 
knights ; and alfo by the Englifh, in 1333, 
in the fleet which was fetting fail to attacfe 
the city of Cayaflt* — The admiral, Who 
commanded the fleet in 1588, made tnany 
knights, to reward thofe who had moil 
diftinguifhed themfelves in the engage- 
ment againft the fleet of Philip. 

It would be difficult to decide, what 
promotions have produced, the greatcft 
feats in war; whether thofb which prei 
ceded the combats, or thofc which fol- 
lowed them ; though the latter were hfeld 
in greater rbpute in the time of Bran- 
tome. The fpUowiiig inftances will prove 
the exceffiVe glory attached to thelb mili- 

M 4 tary 

|68 Mbmoius 9F 

tary promotional and the ardour the yfew 
pf them infpired. 

J^ Edward^ king pf England, at the battlf 
pf Crefly, in 1 346, being prcflcd to fend an 
immediate fuccour to his fon, the priptt of 
Wales, who was only foijrteeji years old, 
and whp was then in the battle, furrovmded 
on all fides,—-** Is he then dead (replied the 
Jcing) or overthrown, or So nxuch wound- 
ed>. that he can no longer defend hinifelf ?' ■ 
They replied, ** that the young prince yet 
lived, but that he was in the n^oft immiT 
nent danger."'-—** Return .ther^ (faid the 
king) to him, and to thofe who have fent 
you; and tell them, from me, that I charge 
thcvp. to fend to me, on nq adventure that 
may happen, ivhile my fon is ajive : and 
tell theni, my commands afe, that they let 
the young man obtain the honour of hi$ 
Ipurs [he had juft received thefe, as badges 
of knighthood] j for I will (added he) if 
God permit, let the day be his, and th^ 
lionour wholly his own/' Thofe whq 
p|?tained the fpijrs of knighthood, before 


Ancient Chivalry, i^^ 

the battle begun, were generally placed in 
^hc firft Ifne, to give them the opportu* 
nity ^f juftifying the opinion conceivecj 
of them. 

There ir a fine example of intrepidity 
given in the hiftory of Boucicaut's life, 
who, being not paft childhood, but inured 
to labours, when he followed Charles the 
Sixth, in this war againft the Flemings, 
was mad^ a knight by the duke of 
Bourbon, in whofe company he was 
fBnrplled. ^^ At the battle of Rofeb?ck 
(fays the hiilorian) the young Boucicaut 
'V^ould meafure his fword with a great fat 
F}.ei|uag. As he was levelling a ftroke at 
him with his axe^, which he held with both 
|us hands^ the Fleming, ieeing htm to be 
fi childi ^d judging of him by his iizc 
pnly, fneered at him, faying, as he beat the 
jLxeout of his hands, ^ Go, infant^, go and 
fuek I The French want men, indeed, 
when ^hey bring fuch children to battle V 
The yoiing boyt becoming furious by the 


tJ9 MCWOJlt« OF 

loffi of his weapon^ glides madkt the'sroi 
of the giant, itf)d» dn^mg his dagger^ 
pluages it into his fide^ mi»igre hb cu-^ 
rafsy and leaves him extended on ' tht 
ground. ^ Do the infants of thy coun- 
try (retorted Boucicamt) amule tfiem- 
ielves with fiich paftimes as thefe ?''^^«^ 
With this anecdote may be compared 
that of young Boutieres, related by thh 
Abbe Du Bos; who, at fixteen ye^s of age, 
made an Albanian giant prtfoner, aiki then 
gave him a challenge, to ptx>ve his cou- 
iftge pdnt to point, and conquered him 
without any odier afliftance^ 

In die year 1 5 54, knighthood waif grant«» 
cd by the duke of Guife, with other fe^ 
vours, to recompenie the officersi, who 
had diftinguiihed themfelves at the battle 
of Renti. It was tho^bght, however, by 
tbt ableft politioiins, that knighthood 
Should be conferred after, and not previ- 
ous to, battle ; honours podeiTed n6t al- 
ways producing the lama efFe^ as ho^ 


^gned was not gjiven ; m i^ happ^n^ ^ 
y^ronfofle, in 1339. The annie$ \is^iie i^ 
^efeace of each other, apd even r^ady 19 
charge : on this, they made ibme jcn^ghtsi 
fifhd then feparatod without aoy <eogage^ 
ment. Ahare^' which ran acr^fs th« 
field, duringi thefe tranfik^tions, gave the& 
l^nights, by way of deri^on, the title or 
^ick*aame of ^ Knights of the Hare/ 

, Brant^M p always pȣers the knightr 
hood conferred after hattk to that given 
J^fore, If avipg related the iervices that 
the Baftard of Bourhon rendered to Lewi» 
the Eleventh, he mentions the r»ge h« 
WES in, on being called by the king to 
make fome knights, when he was juft 
ready to charge the enemy : he cried out^ 
^' Sire ! Sire ! advance ! it is now no time 
to amufe yourfelf in making of knights! 
heboid the enemy — let us employ our- 
felves with them !'' And Monf. Sanfao 
lays, th»t thofe who wiihed for this ho«« 
3 nour 

172 Memoirs of 

Tiour before battle, were apprehenfive left 
their king or general, who promiied it, 
(hould die in the engagement, or they them-* 
felves without it. This ambitious ceremony 
is notnowpraftifed; for whether the foldier 
dies valiantly, or furvives honourably, he is 
as highly efteemed as if he had received this 
dignity : and it has happened, that many, 
who have had it before battle, infleaa of 
fighting valiantly, have done nothing, or 
run away — ^and their knighthood wais finely 
bcftpwcd 1 The braveft have, indeed, cho- 
fen knighthood after battler as Pranqis 
the Firft, who received it after the battle 
with the Swifs, from the brave Bayard ; 
-and M. de Thavanes, after the battle of 
Renti j who was not only made a knight 
of honour, but of the faijie order of King 
Henry himfelf. 

The apparent advantages that attended 
thefe military promotions, rendered them 
very frequent and very numerous. At the 
fiege of one place only, in the reign of 


Ancient Chivalry. 173 

Charles the Sixth, many hundred knights 
were made ; and ftill more in the reigii of 
Charles the Seventh ; a reign fruitful of 
events. When the French recovered from 
the Englifh the places they had ufurped, 
it was added to the articles of capitula* 
tion, " that if, in a time fpecified, there 
came an army to defend the place, they 
fhould be obliged to give battle, and the 
place fhould remain to the victors.'* Thefc 
capitulations continued to the reign of 
Lewis the Thirteenth. 

The inhabitants of Senlis, befieged by 
the Leaguers, imitated, in 1589, theoAcn?- 
tation of the ancient knights. Cannon be- 
ing brought to force them to furrender, 
they were fecn running on the ramparts, 
and preparing for battle. ** What occa* 
fion is there for cannon (faid they) to ruin 
our fortifications ? we are ourfelves ready, v 
to pull down our walls, if you will only 
promife to attack us.'* Villars, in the, 
oppoiite party, did not maintain iefs 


r^j^ Memoirs op 

iisM^^ckefs, c» the attacks made by th^ 
tCffiHoA^ iA 1592, agaanft the city of 
Houisoy wifei^e lie comAianded. He gave a: 
ttwmament without the gates of the city j 
aiki propofed pri^s^ as if it' had be^n ^ 
IMie of peace : meanings by this fpe<9!acle» 
to brave his enemies. 

It* i» to ChivaJry that the French owe 
Acrecovcry of their pit)vinccs. Never wa© 
the glory of the French name carried high-^ 
er^ than in thofe times when it waa moft 
honoured. In a difcourfe, pronounced be- 
fore Henry the Third, in 15^8, diis glo- 
rious teftimony was rendered to the French 
nobility^ byMontholon^ keeper of the feals* 

France and England; fb long ene- 
mieSy beheld their champions^ even in the 
time of peace and truce^ take arms againft 
each other : not to attack or defend towtis 
or pro^inces^ but from a more intereMifg 
motive ; to maintain the pre--eminence of 
valour, without ceaiing difputed between 
the two nations. Thefe duels, or iingle 




Ancient CnvvKVuv. tjrj 

comlralB, between tJie FoBBoch knightt 
zadi the En%EQiy ot tha Pwtugae&, (wfao^ 
gh\i&ng tlitt pretext of combating' fov dts 
lloiwut of the ladies^ tocxk part with idia 
Gmha)\ weitt; of tea tenmnatdL to chradUM 
rant^gti at t&o Fjsxichr ^b^ atwa}^ to chtf 
konow of Chiwir}u 

IfH-E French JcuiightSy allied 1x> thefioiffir 
q£ Q^eaxiB^ leturaing fmat their ▼i<3:onf^ 
m t/foSi^m^ds their entry intoPadfi^diiisfledb 
int white; The lord' of Ckre, recoadu(3:^ 
ihgi into. England^ in 1389, die lonl off 
CoiuHsnsu^ who had jouffed one tum^ only? 
agidni): Gui de la Trimouille, diflbmblej 
hi& anger at the injurious obfervadons Acr 
EngUfliman made againflr the Chivaky ofl 
the French. He had forborne to anfwer 
tfaen)> ia the fear he might violate the 
Biiqguajxl.wfakh had been committed tw 
him i« bat they were impreifed upon his. 
httfffc; and^ when he had reilored the 
ikanger fa£b to. the EnglifK land^ he 
UiQUj^ there, wasv no reafoa- fbc Jkeqping^ 


iy6 ^ Memoirs df 

fair with him any Icmger. He therefoM 
repaid^ with intereft^ the afFront he haii 
received ; fought the £ngli£hman wi& a 
iharp fword; pierced his ihoulder^ and 
threw him to the earth. But, inftead of 
thfc glory which he expeded to acquire 
for this adtion, he was^ on his return to 
France, put into prifon, by the decifion of 
the Conilable and tht Marfhals of Frahte# 
for having joufted without the permiffion 
of the King; and, above all, againft a 
ftranger, the fafety of whofe peribn had 
been intrufted to his care : and he would 
have fufFered banifhment for his crime, if 
the lords and the ladies had not obtained 
the remiiiion of a fault they could not 
help prailing in their hearts« 

The law, which exaded the permifiioti 
of the King for thefe encounters, wgs no6 
always ftriftly adhered to^ efpecially ia 
latter times. In 1 409, a great English lord/ 
called Cornwall, having pa£ed into France^ 
under a fafe conduct, to jouft for the lov«f 



Ancient Chivalry* 177 

of his ladyi fouii^.ic knight ready, to, eft^ 
gage with hin> Jn ;thi8 pro«^( of iovc i 
whciT, juft as they -were on the poi^t of 
beginmng the combat,, they ;^er0.fep«^ 
rated by order pf the King j^ho,\at the 
fame time^ mad^ a' law, w|iieh/f(!)rbade 
any, in future, -from being deceived into 
the, kingdom of France, to engage in^ any 
feat of arms, or in any battki unU^s he 
had the badge of permiffion from the I^ing 
of France, pr the court of parliament* 

A singulaH pro6f df this rirdtour for 
glory happened in 1 4 1 4. Twenty ' brave 
knights, of illuilrious birth, came from. 
Portugal, with a magnificent equipage, to 
fupplicate the King of France, that he 
would permit them to prove the valour of 
{0 many French knights, either in duel, 
men againft men, or in engagements of an 
tqual number ; . on condition that the vic^ 
tqif)|jbatild kill the vanquifhed^ if he did 
not freely furrender. They faid they had 
fwotnthis among thdmfelves : and though 
tj^^ wifeft people thought that there wad 

N th# 

jjrS - M EM o I ft s OP 

the more cruelty in this challenge^ as it was 
lighting \tp diicord bcttwttn people who 
had no cauie. of hatred^ it wa6 not pof- 
iible td turn them from their purpofe i and 
it was a^ ^fficult ibr the King of France 
to rofore his nation the honour of cooling 
the blood of thofe, who would otherwise 
have eternally vaunted their courage, and 
the cowardice of the French. So ardent 
were the French kriights to prov^ 
their courage, that they told the king, 
but with a polite gallantry of manner, 
that if the devil himf^^lf Was to come 
from bell to make fuch a challenge, then 
would be people enough in their kingdom 
who would engage with him. Their re- 
queft was granted. But though the Par- 
tuguefe, in this coQteft, (hewed much cat-*' 
perience iand great valour; the French 
gained the day. — Another Portuguefe WaS 
not more fortunate a^nft * fquire of 
-Bretagne^ who, in a combat which- iafted 
an hour and a half, with heavy Mowa of 
the mace, and fuch rapid ihowers of 
2 . , ■' b^odr 

bloody ftrokes, as were tcrriWe to behold^ 
had neref once lifted up his vifor to take 
breath for a momenti And feversd other 
Portugitere Were defeated^ -which (lays 
the hiftorian of the reigns of Chaises the 
Sixth and Seventh) a little humbled the 
ftrrogance of that nation 4 

To thefe cotobats might be ad^ 
thofe which were propoftd ik the dwetle 
fadionsi which have too 4oflen divided 
the French nation and it6 prihcesj the 
Orleanois, the Burgundians, the Armag*^* 
tiacs, and the Royalifts ; with that cele- 
brated challenge^ in 1590, after the railing 
of the fiege of Paris, which Henry the 
Fourth offered^ by a herald, to the Duke 
de Mayenne^ to determine their quarrel ; 
that a deciiiv^ engagement might at eHc6> 
end the calamities of Prance^ 

Thb combats related aboye^ «^abli£hed 

the fame of thofe particular knights only 

Vrho engaged in them. It is jiow time «» 

^ N 4 view 

i5o Memoirs of 

view die common eiForts of the whole 
body of knights, for the honour and .de- 
fence of the ^ate : and^ inftead of en- 
Jarging on 4:he^ moil glorious periods of 
the French hiftory, it^ may be proper 
to feleft the unfortunate, events which 
happened in the reigns of King John and 
of the three Charles's his fucceflbrs -, as 
fjicy-woijld^probably be chpfen by the 
^emies pf France, to proye their fupe- 
fiority over that: nation ;' whicb would 
perhaps have nwcr been conquered, if it 
bad pot believed itfelf invincible, and dif-* 
daincd that prudence and wifdom which 
are. np^ left neccffary in war than in coun- 
cil. .... 

• « ' _ ^ ♦ ^ 

• King John continued: a long time 
prisoner, with.feveral princes of the blood* 
The members of tbe.ftatCi fefwu-ated from 
their head, remained almoft inaftive, or 
divided jLinongfl: each other ;\aiid made a 
w^ak refiihinte tp the conmion enemy : in 
fine, all thipj;s.feemed to threaten the tota) 

Ancient Chivalry. i8i* 

ruin of Chivalry. A fatSion, known by^' 
the name of La Jacquerie, fcrmed itfelf in- 
the Beauvois, extended through- the pro- 
vinces, and leagued together to-givc the^ 
laft ftroke to this illuftrious body, Moi-e 

■f- than a hundred thoufand pea&ht's, armed; • 

I rcfolved to cxfewmnate the " nobility, t<>> 
ravage the lands, to burn thccaflles, and^ 

! to maflac jg the fcnights, the^fquirps, and,- 

above all, the gentry, without fparing^ 

• either womcfnof children. Their body ac-' 

; cumulated as they fpread over thd coun- 
try ; and to fignalize their inveterate ha- 
tred againft the hobles, and> as it were, la 
infult the tenidernefs and hurmanity of 
Chivalry, they- extolled as a Virtue- 'th© 
moft brutal ferocity, ^and the moft baf-J 
barous inhumanity ♦ Tho Dubhefe?of Nor- 
mandy, the wife c^ the Reg^ ti -»th4 Du- 
chefs of Orleans, and three haitdreB la>* 
die$ and yourig gentlewomen, ^ w4r6 ' at 
Meaux, with the Duke of iOrieftws^ in the 
utmoft terror for their fituafeion! 'Some 
detachments of thefc; madmen j joined byt 
•-^•: ^ N 3 • others. 

> ) 

iZ^ M E M a I a s .0 F 

others^ who flocked to them dscHy frorn 
Parts and its environ^^ thought them- 
iblves Aire of dividing a fpoil^ which it 
iieemed in^poffible to prevent their feizingt 
The inhabitants had opeiied their gates y 
and, in concert with the fafidon^ had re-^ 
d^ced thetfe npbjie Ijtdies, and ^ir train^, 
tp refuge themfelv^s in the frontier of 
IVIeaux (a part feparated from th^ ttA. of 
the town by the river M^rne)* Thp daa^ 
wa$ extreme $ there was no exce& whiiclv 
might not be dreaded frpm this forioua 
banditti^ whom; nothing ifiti^idated, aii4 
\y whom noting was refp^ded. Th/s 
Count de Foix, and the Captal of Buch^ 
whp» juft at this crifis, returned froic^ the 
cm^i&dje of PrUflla^ learned thef^ fatal ac-- 
counts At Chalons . Though th!^ had oi^ly 
fixty lances (that is to jfoy^ foty knights) 
and their ordinary retinup^ they imniedi-* 
it^ly took the refolution tQ go and join 
themfelv«8 \p the fmall nu^mher of tho&| 
who de!finde4 the fortrefp of Mea^ix. The 
)iQnoiir of tHe ladiesi fo e?rf>ofed| did not 


Anciemt CnivAiRY. 1S.3 

permit the Count de Foix to reftcft on the 
daiiger ; nor the Captal of Buch to re- 
member that he was an Engliihman. With 
h«roi^ ardour he took advantage of the 
Ubertyt which the tr^uce between France 
and England gave him, to follow thofe 
anclinationa of h^rt^ i which, in brave 
knights, were riiore powerful than national 
emnity, — Thcfe .valiant officers had no> 
fooaer joined the Duke of Orleans, than 
the Jacquiera collected together, dif- 
.pofidg themfelves fo, as to make one com- 
mt>aefibrt to reap th6 fruits of their crimes, 
and fulfil the mcafure of their wicked- 
nefs. Thefe brave knights and their train 
had no other apparent rcfourqe but inevi- 
table death; nor any other ramparts tc 
oppofe to the rebels, than the banner ot 
the Duke of Orleans, that of the Count 
de Foix, and the pennon, or ftandard, 
of the Captal of Bach* With oi\ly 
this defence, they open thc^ gates, and 
march intrepidly to the mpaxy. On the 
firiV Yiiew Of their fier^ aipcd, a panic 
N 4 feized 

184 M B MO 1 R 8 OP 

feized the troops of La Jacquerie ^ the 
knights' made day fhine thr<mgh their 
trembling ranks; killed feven thoufand 
men on the fpot ; and returned triumphant 
to the ladies, whom they* had fo glorioufly 
-^ faved from deftrudtion. Memorable day ! 
—day equally renowned for the heroes and 
'the ladies, whofe power had infufed fuch 
courage, and produced fuch fhining ex- 
ploits of valour •*— Bnguerrand de Couci 
purfued, on all fides, the fcattered re- 
mainder of thefe robbers; and compleated 
. . the e^ttermination of a fa&ion, which had 
fworn the ddlrudion of all the French 
nobility, and confequently the ruin of 
the whole kingdom • 

Charles the Fifth, convinced of the 
utility and importance of Chivalry, by the 
. experience he had of ^it, during his re- 
gency, did not, J when he mounrttd the 
throne, negleft an' inftitution fo capable 
of advancing the great objects of his po- 
licy. His orders, feconded by the brave 


AifcfiENT Chivalry. 185 


©u Guefelin, revived in the nobility, and 
in their zxTtAt$; -the ancient fpirit and dif* 
ciplinc; and this prince fbon proved the 
advantage of fd^h a well regulated militia. 
He was hereby etiabled to lend Several ar- 
mies into the dififerent provinces of his 
kingdom, the virhole of which was indeed 
a field of battle ; fo great-'was the multi- 
tude of enemies with* which he ^as fur- 
rounded :— while he hiniifelf ' rcmairied m 
the crenter,* direfting the different move- 
•ments bf this Vaft body :ancl,' being the 
foul of all their anions", his cohduft met 
with the reward it merited/ for, in a ft^ 
campaigns^ he left id his'fcnemtes" bhly a 
hamlet, or fiii^lfe poft, in that vaft <erfi^ 
tory,'of which they had bden die mafters*. 
OHivalty,' ihus revived ^ with luilre and 
prudence, reftored to the French whaft 
imprudence had catifed them to lofe. * 
■ ■ . : J - .- . ..'...'■, 

If the French knights thus exempli- 
•fiw} their cdupage in the feign df Charles 
:thc Fifths land. detiyered Franoe 6:6m its 


iS6 M B M o I II 8 or 

calamitiesr^ they acquired no lefs hoiiQ^ 
in tbe beg^inniHg of the r<;i^ of Ch^le$ 
the Sixthj by their v^gilaace and a&ivity 
ill preventing the misfortones with which 
the Aate yfu threatened-: wh^ch will be 
eaiity feen» if we reflect, on die fituatipn' of 
the kingdom^ when Charles the Siy;th 
mounted' the throne. The Qhentoi^, or 
people of Ghent* who. were formidab^ 
for their multitnde and their fury* armed 
igainft the Count of Flanders^ their liegp 
lord, whofe fuzecasn^ or lord paramount j 
was the King of Franc&j and fjicj ftrength« 
emd them&lves by an alliance with the 
King of Englaodi promUing to aid him 
in hia chimerical rights over the empiro 
of France;, Charles, fupported by, his 
knightSt flew to the affiftsince of his vaf-. 
£dsi attacked], broke, and fnit to dig^t the 
enemy^ with the flaoghter of fiz<«-and-twen^ 
ty thoufand men l^t d«sid on the fpot« 

StfCB % glofioul bcgjiming pr6^ 
filled a p9aQef^I x^k and iQflired that 



Ancient CHfvAt'ity. f9^ 

Afififtion ta dit) prioce^ which i^ the ncver^i 

fftiliag pkdge bf his profp^rity.; Nef'cp- 

thctefe, the divifion amcmf fhc Ft^netb 

princiss^ arming one agaiAit anothtr 4uriiig 

lh^ dreadful malady of ^efr jbvecetgiiy 

^nnouncdd new misfoFtime^ to the ^tet 

yet^ tx> the end of his life» refpe^t for^ an^ 

flttachment to^ the perfon of their kii^, 

jfufpftnded the cruel efFei3;8 of thefe difien^ 

tiooa. 3ttt at lafthis ^cath plunged tjio 

nation into that fatal abyfs of calamity, 

which had ib long been dreaded. The 

French beheld the fcepter pofs into the 

hands of grangers i the legitkxhtte heir dif«* 

poflfe0ed of his right^ confined to % fingto 

rity of his kingdom^ and invefled only 

ynth the fhadbw <if aiithority^-^wantw 

}pg almoft necefiarSes^ and ih a condition 

to envy the felicity of every individual ii| 

his kingdom • What now was become 

of Chivalry ? It W fallen, with th^ 

monarchy injko a lethargic defpondency t 

whi^h one lady re-animates the keeping 

Jcing r^J^anothfer, in the habit of war; 


i88 * Memoir^'OF 

presents herfelf before the nation • Thus^ 
thofby whofe honour had been defended 
by Chivalry, became a defence to its ho- 
nour in return. On the fignal of an armed 
woman, the French beheld the image of 
Chivalry raifed from the dead. All range 
under the ftandard of this heroine ! It re^ 
fumes its ancient vigour; thetHumphant 
king is reftbried to all his rights ; and the 
nation recovers its legitimate fovereign. 

From the time of Charles the Fifth, 
Sixth, and Seventh, their fucceflbrs, at the 
peril of their, lives, have always taken 
arms, either to deliver their people from 
do^^ftic calamities, on the* ves^ations of 
particular lords ; or tp oppofe thofe pow:^ 
ers, who have invaded the dominions of 
France. The knights, ever. thi5 faithful 
fupports of the throng, were^the infqpara-^ 
ble companions of ^e prince, in fhcfk 
continued labours ; and, be^g always prq* 
tcfted-by thp fovereign, were the protec-«- 
tors of his ftate. To repeaf(. all their 


An^oieut TCHiy^tRY. 189 

triumphs, wcnild:l>ie/tp repeit th^ hiftory 
of the vFr^^ch -njitipn; fince. the other 
bodies of; militia were weak defenders, ' 
in cqmparif^fli.oClbe glory of • France* 
Some archers, aqd a multitude of com* 
jnon people,. ;vciy ill difciplined, were 
chiefly ufeful in defpoiling thofe^ whom 
the knights 'had ^routed and overcome* 
The knights alone fuftained all the 
weight of war, made and defended the 
lieges, and were always equally ready 
for combating on horfeback or on foot> 
for forcing retrenchments, and mounting 
to afTaults. On thefe occafions, the 
knights put in pradice what they had 
learnt in the tournaments, which always 
reprefented fome military adion, or attack 
of places. I will not aflfert they dug^ 
as in real fieges, fubt6rraneouS routes, to 
fink the ramparts on one fide^ and on the 
other^ .to render this fruitlcfs, by filling 
them up again; but it is certain they 
regarded the fpringiog of mines as the 


190 Mbmoia* Of * 

moft noble^ becaufe* the m<^ perilous^ en* 
lerprize of war. In i^SS, the duke of 
BourboQ befieging the caftk of Verteuil, 
in Angoumoi$9 cauied a Inine to be open* 
ed, in triSkh he foughra long time^ iword 
in hand> againft a fquire^ who cooimai^d 
in the abfence of his captain. They had 
given and received (evera! ftrokes ; when 
the fquire hearing the cry of Bourbon !— 
Bourbon i— Our Lady ! [this was the cry 
of the dttkej'-^finds^ with amazement, he 
is at^blow% with his prince e he falh back 
with refpeS, touched with the honour 
he hss jttft* received ; he delivers up his^ up the- keys of the place, and 
k made «< knight by this illuftrious enc- 
my>^agaiiift ^hom he vows never more to 
he armed. 
\ ^ - ' ■ , 

. HisT-oity, after this, fpeaks of thefe 
fubterranean combats j but it gives no' 
inftance more memorable than that at the 
fiege of Melun, in 14204 On its being 


laid, that ia mines the moftTaliant a£dom 
were perfermed, it was mode known, 
that if any perfons wiihed for this ho- 
nour, thef ifaould preftnt theni&lves. 
Several kni^ta and iquiies engaged ei- 
ther in fiAgle combat, or two againft 
two, in this mine : it was tiarrow, and ib 
crooked, that it was fcarcdy poffible to 
manage ilie battle««tfixe, Without' fliorten- 
ing it i M^ich done, they could not yet 
reach each other ; for tibeire was a thick 
board, placed acrofs the mine, bMafthigh ; 
and the combatants were exprefsly forbi^ 
to pafs either over or under it. Ptarn* 
beaujt, and other lights, rendered thfe(e 
feats of arms vifible, which otherviriie 
muft have been buried in profound dark* 
nefs. The king of England, and the 
duke of Burgundy, made ibveral knights, 
as did the lords al£b, of thofe w'ho had 
fliewn feats of valour in this mine; or- 
dered trumpets and minflrels to found, 
and made great joy in thisfiege: as did the 
lord of Barba£tn, who commanded in the 


1^2 rl^ ^ M O I R $ p /;. 

.|)J[ace ; and /uRplied^the want : oif tnzx^ 
ipftruments^ ,by the tellsrofrt^ city* . 

The cqmbate of tlif^^fwor-^ the ax€> 
^^d , the dfigg^Ty, rwhich followed the joufts, 
did^vUffulzrly.gjiwth^^ n^f 
of ^ tourn^rflp.n fcs , becf ufe p£ . th€f^<3ioa of 
the chai^pio^Sj^who turi^dia^tthein con- 
tinually ;-jWh5ire^s the j<wft5> or.comba^ 
of lances, . pafl^^ ; in a ftraigh t- .^ine. ; The 
appearjncj^ p£.^f^ ladies .gave, aniination to 
thefe preparat^yfs of w^r; and it was ^ 
jioble fpedaQk^ta behold the lat^r, placed 
in their ifplendid lodges Of boQti^^^ open- 
ing the curtains, which organruented and 
iheltered them, ;to lookout^^d vi?w the 
noble games, .^hkh kept them in anxious 
fufpenfe. Thus .was the whole a fchool 
in which every manoeuvre of[ war was de*- 
yeloped. The Joufts reprer^nled fingle 
combats ; the tournaments^ thp fkirmifhes 
that happen in war; and the combats 
of the niultitude, general battles : and 
in the Pas d'Armes were reprefpnted the 



attack and defence of bridges^ paiTes^ de- 
files ; the c^ftilles^ the aifaults of towers^ 
and the combats of the barriers, ap« 
proaches and retreats ; and the joufts in 
mines were to exhibit the laft efforts that 
could be made to force the place from 
the enemy* 

In the account of the tournaments 
given at PlcfSs-lcs-Tours, for the mar- 
riage of Madame Claude of France, daugh- 
ter pf Lewis the Twelfth, were repre- 
fcnted combats of the multitude. The 
prize of honour for thofe who had per- 
formed the higheft deeds, to prevent the 
decline of valour, was every where in ufe, 
where Chivalry extended its laws; andi in 
fo many examples, that which is given 
in the hiftory of Edward the Third, king 
of England; and' the prince of Wales, his 
fori, furnamed the Black Prince, may be 
cited with jufl: preference; becaufethefe 
CTsamples are the moft memorable, and the 

O bcft 

bed fitted ti inAtVL^t in the cttttaonki 
A- of thi8 wife inftitlitibn.—— Theft IWo 
prlflce«, it is triie, we#e theix^oft reddubt- 
able adverfttf ies that the Frtuch fifttidtt 
ever hadi but the ancteat French knights^ 
^dmitert cif virtue^ even in their eneaues, 
would not have difavowed the higheft eu- 
logies diat could have been given them j; 
itncft Edwaitd tild hi^ fon o^edE their 
great foctfeis to their zeal for Chivali^«-^ 
Q£ what import U it from whence feicain* 
pies are Borrowed? It may be MA^ 
without breach of tntth, that all the he- 
roic vitfttteSx and above all the couiteQc 
and hiUtfiflnity, that reigned at that time iti 
the Chrifijan ftates, were the efiisa <^ 
Chivalry,, and equally belonged, to all tkt 
orders of knights. 

JoiKViLLt liius fiiudies the eulog^ 

a£ Meffire Heiuj de G6ne,, his uncle, who 

died covered whh wounds in dn a€ki0ft 

againlbth(x Tucks :. ** Iwilitsftify of him», 

: I ^ that 

A«ctBNt CttivAtky. i9j 

that he had been in thirty-fix battles, and 
many feats of war i and that he had, in i 
number of them, carried olTthe priMi*' King 
John, of France, defiroos to re^animtti 
Chivalry, commanded that, on the evefi^ 
ing and day of the firft public feaft in tht 
royal houfbi there (hould be a table of 
honour, at which (hould be fcatcd jiine. 
of the braveft men^ in imitation of tfatt 
nine worthies, who fhould be found at 
that feaft i and that they (hould be admit-^ 
ted into hia new order of the Knights of 
the Star« They were to be <:hofen from thtt 
three different ranks of knights princes^' 
bannerets, and batchelors j and every ycat 
thi^ cu&om was to be repeated^ 

In the defiance of arm^, propo&d dtir^ 
ing the fiege of Arras, at Lens, in Artois^ 
between four Frenchmen, whofe chief 
was the Baftard of Bourbon, a child of • 
feven or eight years old ;-*-fottr Burgun- 
dians, headed by the Chevalier Cotte* 
brune, who was afterward marechat, wcr« 
O 2 their 

196 .\ Memoirs of /^ 

their oppofcrs. The cheyalier, who was 
a knight of a great iize^ as well as of 
great valour, had his lanOes brought, the 
fineft and longeil: that could be feen ; but 
wl^n he knew he had to do with a young 
boy, he got lances fo made, and he ma^ 
naged them fo courteoufly, that, in the 
courfe of arftis with the Baftard, he 
avoided the poflibility of wounding him. 

The Chevalier Bayard ihewed the 
greateft humanity and charity towards 
his enemies ; fparing their property, and 
paying, as he went along, for all he was 
furnifhed with. Being told, that it was 
permitted, . in an enemy's country, to live 
at their expence, — he replied, " It is fo ; 
but I think we ought not to do all that 
is permitted: the right of war is one 
thing, the right of juftice another: I 
rebuke not what others do, but I will 
not do it myfclf/' On taking^ a prize^ 
one of his knights, who was not prefent, 
cxpreifmg a grudge for the advantage 


Ancient Chivalry. 197 

Bayard had gained^ he generouily gave him 
•half, i;vhicfa was feven thovifand£ve hun^ 
jdred: ducats 4— for it .was a great prize i-r- 
.and theJjther halfheb^ilowedoiLhis brave 
ibldiersc: Co forgiving was he, and fo liberal 
.waslhis nature,, that he xderved none for 
.himfelf.. .,,... j ^ .. 

: '.;."' '-. - * ^ \'*' • . ^ '* : ..'■'. 

... Ei>w.ARi> thezTbirfl had the geiier<>- 

^ fity . . t& crown - an enemy, who , had not 
iliewn-bim tlie leaft refpcS^. ..In' 1347, 
a calm feemed to reign betWiefcn the 
French and the JEnglifti, on the faith of 
a truce, when the lord Gedi&ey: de 
Charni, who commanded at. St,. ^Pmer, 
unfaithful to the mod effential- do^ty .of 

.a loyal knight, and puChcd oa by an in- 
difcreet zeal for the intcrefts of his coun^- 
try, dared to form, without the know- 
ledge of the king, the defign of furprifing 
Calais. Edward, informed of this/pro- 
jed, paffed the fca, almoft alone, with his 
fon, the prince, of Wales ; and fcarcely 
had he fet his foot on ihore, when he 
O 3 ranged 

*Sp6 . MBM6llf 09 

rangod hiinfelf under the banner of tbo 
lordof Maitiu, his iubjed, to whom be 
liad given the ct)fnaiaiid| and mifdned' 
agaihft the Frsnch^ wh6 were ntnged in 
battle at the gales of the clt/^ of which 
ttfaej already belieiied theoiielva mafteri^ 
They attaciced each other^ with eqoal 
ardour^ in the obfcurity of the Qight? 
Him king hiralelif cama to atms with fiuf^ 
tathe de Itibawnont^ a fierce and Mrdy 
Itiftight) wh6 twice overthrew him to the 
ground: the m€»)ai:cil ft ill rising with 
liew afdoiii'^ overcanie at laft^ and forced 
this deljx^rate enemy to yield up hia 
Jwerd, and lo fcrrender. The next day, 
in 1^ mornings the vidorious £ngliih 
mtered the city, with the principal 
French lords, wboni they bad made pri^ 

Edward was defirous to celebcate hict 
viiftory, and the day, together i it bcipg 
the ^rft day of the year 1 348* He gave a 
fupper to his knights, after having caufed 


Anci-^nt CnivApRY. jig^ 

f^m^ ff4 ^h^ French Jbi^hts alfi^, ta b^ 
<J«(fcd in.nejv vohes. ** Tijup ^ing»" 
^Ry^ Frojfla^it^ ** fet dowa, ^(J. mad^ thp 
Ffcnch knight* fit ^fo; tj-e^jed- ^i» 
ljOijpii«Lbly, , an4 .ordere4 jhfm to,. |ip 
/eryed witji the fif ft coi^rfc / f^e geiir 
Jtle prince of Wales^ .aad the I^^);^ts pf 
PngUnd, with the {ecoi>d cp^ffe,- wjjp 
vvient and Teat^d thei^ielves at aoother 
^hle^ 'Vj^hen fi^per wa$ over, the tfbUf 
yver^ removed | and the kjing ■r.e^Tii^e^ j^ 
tl^c hall, bf twe^ tfof Fref^c]^ apd pjjgt 
Ji/h knights, flis head wf3 KarCi afld^ 
wpre a chaplet of ^ne pearU. Th^n h^g^ 
the king," addU Ffo^ffsft, " tp (fopverfe, 
goi?ig froi?a <if)e *o the other^ .^ ajfjt?f 
having made t\ic lard, jjle Iphg^jii, ffe^ 
c^?f of ihp fp^prize, ibn^f /eprp;^(;jl;vp^ 
.ijJWced wit^ ^ ^ft ^d «;>fia^ij>g pl«i/aj^ry# 
oa the dfjfjgj^ j?e jiad ihfwxi .tp dfffiy^ 
him of Calais, — ' the king came tp ^J^t 
tache de Ribaumont: * You are the 
koi^ht, io the fvprld, wl^ 4E^e tb?, 190ft 
ya,liaBijtly a^^lted the co^y/ ^ .bp^ 
O 4 ' * and 

400 Memoirs of 


* and defended your ownpcrfon;' nof 
have I ever found any in battle, who, 
man to man, have given me fo much 
trouble as you have done : I therefore 
give you. the prize, by a juft decifion^ 
above all the knights of ipy court/ The 
king then took his chaplet, that he wore 
on his head, which was very rich and 
fplendid, and put it on the head of 
the lord Euftache, and faid, * I give you 
this chaplet, for having the beft com-?* 
bated, this day, of thofe without, or 
of thofe within 5 and I befeech you to 
Wear it through the year, foi" the love of 
me* I kiibw that you are a gay and gal* 
Jant knight, and very willingly aflbciatc 
with the ladies; tell them, therefore, 
wherever ydu go, that it is I who have 
made you this 'prefent, if you quit your 
prifotti, afld'yott inay quit it to-morrow^ 
if you'pleafe/* '. 

'' A* WAY ' ftill toiore fetal to France, and, 
jidverthdcfs^-xiitift honourable to Chivalry 
^ • ' . and 

Ancient CHivktRY* ioi 

iond humanity, was that in which the 
Prince of Walts rendered, ^er the battle 
of Poitiers, to king John, his prifoncf, 
the hobleft tcftimonies of tefpeft and ve- 
neration. He -conftantly tefufed to fit 
down at the table of that monarch. ** It 
appears to me (faid this gracious prince) 
that you have great reafon to rejoice^ 
though the day was not yours ; for yoa 
obtained in it the high fame ,of valour, 
and furpafled all the heft warriors of 
France, I do not fay this, dear fire, to 
praife you ; ' for All thofe of our party, 
who have fcen the whole engagement, 
hiave in truth granted this, and giveit 
you the prize and the chaplet." To 
this we may add the recital of Olivier de 
la Marche, who fays that, in 1452, the 
duke of Burgundy (after a hot fkirmifh be- 
tween his troops and the revolted Ghentois, 
in which many lords diftinguiflied them- 
felves, and particularly the lord of Lalain) 
tho' he knew his people had fufFercd much 


4k9m' them, yet i^aited in the boulevard, 
Jby 4ie r^ver^ for ib^te ojf&qerit wd had 
hU ^per i>ro^ght Jtbere; iny^tod ihe^ 
JcQights to fup with him f asd caufed the 
^rd 4e I:^)aiQ to (it at ^bl^ and to be 
/eated .^boyc feiaij faying, ^ Uvit bp 
nvQuJd pfi^ferv^ the good and aocient cufr 
jtoms^ which w^e ever tQ hofiour th^ 
J^night^ who^ bravery was ^be m^Ot dif^ 
lingui^ied ia the day of ejpg?gpmcnt/' 

Of all Hhe recompcxK:es of Chivalry-, 
the tfioii glorious, without doubt, wjcf:^ 
thefe prizes of valour, gnd the inaH^c 
of honpur^ givcp by thofc whpfc judg- 
mipnt could npt be difputed; and tbi$ 
was^ indeed, a tribunal of glory withpijit 

The Englilh alfo gave the fame ho-^ 
pours to thofe who, in a day of adtioDi 
^ad furpafled all other combatants, 
^^ James d* Endclce, g brave EngUfli 
jcnight, after the battle of Poitiers, re^ 


Ancjint Cvivaxry. .«o3 

oivrd the hi^dl eaLogks frooi tlb 
Prince of Wfllet, ** By your valour^'' 
laid this amiable prince^ vfho was him&lf 
the knight covered with glory, ^ yon 
have acquired grace and renown from us 
lillj afid are h^d, by tndifpucable U^s^ 
to he the bravcft/' ** M<Hi(ieur Jamea/' 
fcpeated he again, ^' I, andall ours^ hdld 
you, thla day, for die b^ and ^iioft va% 
}iant on pur fide« 

As Chivalry had always ftudied to re-^ 
pTcfcnt in the tournaments a ^thful pic* 
ture of the iabour$ and perils of war ; ie^, 
tn war, were always faithfully prefcrved 
the courtefy and the gallantry v4jich 
reigned in the toumancnts. At the en- 
counters made in the mines, in the ifiege 
t)f Arras, all was regulated with the fame 
courtefy as at joufts; even fo far, that 
the vanqiriihed was, by ftipiilation, to give 
ta the via»r a diamond, with a htmdred 
prowtts. The Count d'En, a young and 
valiant knight, having defended ^e paf- 

iage ia valiantly/ that Montaigu tould : 
i:er difpoiiefs him ; the latter', paid hihi 
incA mllmgly/the diamo^,. to prefeont 
to his lady*. ...j . ' ? 

Often, in. the war, the knights 
have taken the names of PurfuiVan ts q£ 
Lovei and, adorned with the piaurcs and 
devices :of their Udies^. have engaged. i|i 
the moft dangerous con^bats,: ikirmiih^^ 
and battles. Nor was any thing eftecmed 
more ferious, than to difpute with the ene- 
my the adoring a lady more virtuous and 
more beautiful than the miftrefs of his 
rival} and. the declaration that he loved 
i^ith more paffion and. truth. As my 
lord . John Chandos, an Engliihman, a 
little before the battle of Poitiers^ had 
advanced to obferve the French army, h? 
was met, on his return, by my lord John 
of Ciermont, one of the marechals of 
France, who had been viewing, on horfe* 
back^ in the fame manner^ the £ngli(h 

Anclent Ch^ival»y« to$ 

zimy. Each of them (fays Froiffart) 
wore the fame device, which was blue^ 
worked with rays of gold round the bor- 
der, and which they always "wpre over 
their upper veftment. Said my lord of 
Clermont, ** Since when here you bor- 
rowed my device ?" ** And you mine (r-c-. 
plied lord Chandos) for it is as much 
mine as yours." *• I deny that (faid my 
lord of Clermont) and if there Was not a 
fufpenfion of arms between us and your 
party, I would foon convince you, you 
had no right to wear it/* Said my lord 
of Chapdos, ^* You will find me, tow 
morrow, equipped to defend it, and to 
prove, by deeds of arms, that my right is 
as good as yours." My lord of Cler- 
mont replied, ** Thefe are the boaftings 
of you Engliib ! — You cannot invent 
any thing new ; but when you behold it, 
you are ftruck with its beauty, and defire 
to poiTefs it." They then paiTed afide^ 
nor was more then faid or done, but each 
returned to his people* 


f o6 MsMoiRa o9 

Tmb lord of Languerant, in 1378^ 
];ttving placed forty men» with lances, in. 
an ambufcade^ Commanded them to wait 
for him« till he was neturned £rom re«* 
connoitering thfe fbrtrefs of Cardillac, 
occdpied bj the Englifh. He advanced 
alone to the barriers; and adckeffing him^ 
Mf to the guard, ♦* Where b Bernard 
Coufaht, your captain ^ (faid hc)«^tdil him 
that the lord Languerant demands to 
jouft with him; he is fb good and (b 
Taliaut, he will not refufe him, for the 
lovtt of his lady i and if he does refufe, it 
will torn to his great diflionour ; and I 
iliall fay, wherever I come, that he re« 
fuied a joaft of knees, firom cio^mdice." < 
Bernard did not refufe ; and Languerant 
returned no more to hi^lance-^men, for 
he loft his life on ihe fpot« 

** But will it be further believed, and 
yet it happened (fays Froliikrt), at th« 
fiege of the caille of de Touri, in fieauce, 
that the befieged and the bcfiegers, ia. 

: ; the 

fbe Inidft of the aaion^ fufpeadfid tbei^ 
hoiiilitie^^ to Wave the field fmc for tfadic; 
fquires^ who wiihed to ioatnottali^Ke the 
beauty of their hdies, by h^tiogSor. 
them ? Or ctn it be con<mved j>oifibk^> 
that in ft hot fire of. the fquadrons. of the. 
Ftench and EQglifli, who were met near 
Cherbourg, in t^^» *thc knights and 
iquires> having difmounted to fight cloier^. 
flopped in the midft of thefe furious 
tranfports, to give one amMgft.4them» 
who alone had remaifted on hocTeback^ the 
leifure to challenge that knight^ among, 
his enemies^ whom he efteemed to excei 
the moil in love ? A challenge of thi& 
kind never faiied to be accepted. The. 
£quadron$ remained inunoveable rpe<£btx)r8» 
of the combat between theib two Ioikts;, 
and liever refumed the engagement^ ti 
they had beheld one of them pay hi« life 
fbt the title of fetvaat to his kdy ; which 
he might otherwife^^ perhap^^ never have 
obtained fi'om her owh hand. This fin--: 
gular combat was folloM^ ^by a moib 
:. - bloody 


zo9 . M 5 MO IK* or 

bloody a^ion : and Froiffar t adds^ *' Thas 
pafied the whole^ as I was at that time 
informed/' Similar to this account^ we 
fee the Greek heroes flop, in the midft of 
a charge, to relate their own genealogies^ 
and that of their hories^ In the wars of 
Henry the Fourth^ and Le^is the Four- 
teenth, they pifboled t>ne another for the 
love of their ladies ; and at the iiege of a 
place, zn officer, who was wounded to 
death, ^wrote on the gabion the name of 
his miftrefs, as he was rendering his lail 

Besides the prize deilihed to the 
braveft knight, warriors were fometimcs 
prefented with chains of gold, which 
they hung at their necks, and the links of 
which were increafed in number, accord^ 
ing to their merit. The kings of France, 
to the year i66S, gave chains of gold to 
the colonels of the Swifs regiments^ and 
ftill prefent them to the ambaifadors of 
that nation, on the renewal of peace. 


ANdlfiNT CHIVAtRV* 2ogf 

They often alfo grant fuch a diftinftion 
to the other officers of their armies, and 
even to thofe of their allies. Lewis the 
Fourteenth, in 1666, fent his order of 
St. Michael to admiral Ruiter, with a 
chain of gold^ and his portait; and feveraV 
of the kings of France have carried theif 
generofity fo far, as ,to recompenfe their 
moft redoubtable enemies with tbefe 
glorious marks of their efteem^ Le^ 
wis the Twelfth put on the neck of 
Gonfalvo a chain of gold, to mark tha 
refped he had for his valour. I imagine? 
thefe chains originally ferved to faften 
the buckler, and therefore feemed a 
token of the intereft taken in the pre- 
fcrvation of the knight'g perfon*— This 
prefent has fince received an allegorical 
fignification^ anfl thofe who received it 
were thereby informed, their valour only ' 
required limitation. Said Lewis the 
Eleventh » as he gave a chain of gold, 
with live huadred crowns, to the brave 
Raoul de Lannoi, " By the God who 

P came 

210 Memoirs of 

came to us at Eafter, my friend, yott arc 
too furious in combat ! We muft chain 
you ; for I would not lofe ypu, but de- 
fire to obtain your fervice on many future 
occafions." It was thus that the warlike 
policy of the Romans had invented brace- 
lets, crowns, collars, ahd other military 
diftindtions, according to the different 
kinds of fervice and valour rendered to 
their country. 

If this love of glory and of the fair 
fex was thus employed with fuccefs in 
Chivalry, the bond of friendfhip, fo ho- 
nourable in the fight of all men, waa 
abfolutely neceflary to unite thefe rival 
heroes, without which their emulations 
would have become fatal fources of divi- 
fion and difcord. This inconvenience, 
fo often fatal to fiates, was prevented by 
the focieties, or fraternities of arms, 
formed among the children of knights j 
and thofe knights, who encouraged them, 
were confidered as fo many fathers of fa- 

Ancient CHiVAikv, tii 

tnilies^ and thcfe as their common chil- 
dren. But this aflbciation was more vi- 
fible, and ftill ftronger^ between thofc 
knights who became friends or brothersf 
in arms. A mutual efteem and confidence 
gave birth to thefe engagements. Thofe 
who were often in the feme expeditions; 
conceived for each other that tender in- 
clination, which a virtuous heart never 
fails to poflefs, when it meets witk 
virtues fimilar to its owrt. To confirm' 
thefe jonds of love^ they ' engaged iff 
many high enterprizes, and fwore to par- 
take equally in the labours and the gloryy 
the dangers and the profits of themy and 
never to abandon each other. " Brothers 
or companions of the fame ofder could 
never challenge each Other (fays Bran- 
tome) without the permiffion of the 
king; and the marechal de Gicy con- 
demned to death, received a pardon from' 
the king, becaufe he confidercd him as 
a brother, having conferred oa aim ther 
honour of knighthood.*' 

' P ^ Tff* 

ail Memoirs of 

-The fraternities of arms were con- 
traded in feVeral different ways. ^* Three 
knights (fays Lancelot ; de Lac) caufcd 
themfclvcs to be bled at the fame time, 
and mingled their blood together/' And 
M. du Cange cites feveral examples of 
this kind, drawn from remote hiftory, 
particularly of the countries beyond the 
.fca. If this praiftice, as he juftly ob- 
fcrves, was a barbarous one, nothing was 
more oppofite to barbarity than the fcn- 
timent it infpired, which wai the moft 
cordial preference and. afFe£^ion. Other 
companions in arms imprinted on theit 
eaths the moft facred charafters of reli- 
gion. To Unite the clofer with each other, 
they kifled together the wafer, prefcntcd 
to the faithful in the mafs ; and they 
fometimes received the conmiunion at the 
fame time. Neverthelefs, when the duke 
of Burgundy^ in contempt of this folemn 
engagement, caufed his brother in arms, 
the duki of Orleans, to be aflaflinated, he 
found an apologift in Dr. John Petit, 
9 who 

Ancient C'hivaery, 213 

who feared not to maintain, that, in cafe 
of alliance, promife, and refpefl:, from 
one knight to another, in whatever man- 
ner the union is made, if it fliould happen 
that it turns out to the prejudice of one 
of the parties, or of his confederates, his 
wife, or his children, — he is not obliged 
to abide by it^ '3u* this propofition hav- 
ing been fubmitted tp the decifion of the 
biihop and the univerfity of Paris, was 
Condemned, with an unanimous. Voice, 
as erroneous both in faith and manners, 
and opening the way to the blackeft de- 
ceit and perjury. 

These kind and brotherly unions were 
moft common between private gentlemen, 
who had formerly ferved together. Bran- 
tome, in fpeaking of Mr. de Teligni, fays, 
** My great friend, my brother in al- 
liance and refpedt.'' Baflbmpierre and 
Schomberg called each other brothers ; 
as did the chevalier de Cramail and de 
Crammont, in 1621. And Madame de 
P 3 Sevigne, 

214 Memoirs, of 

Sevign.i^, who wrote in 1674, fays, ** I 
cftecm Barbantanne very much j he is one 
of the braveft men in the world; of a 
valour almpft romantic : I have a thou- 
fand times heard Buffi fpeak of himj 
they were brothers in arms/* 

The, moft illuftrious warriors, in the 
preceding ages, had given examples of 
this fricndihip. The king of Sicily, in 
1439, became brother in arms to the con- 
ftable Artus, the third duke of Bretagnc. 
The count d' Auxerre was companion in 
arms, which means brother, to the count 
Vert, at the battle of Gocherel, in 1364. 
And FroifTart, in the recital of the aflaffi- 
nation of the conftable Cliflbn, in 1392, 
fays, " The lord de Couci, who kept 
clofe in his palace, having heard the 
news, mounted his horfe the next morn- 
ing, and came haftily to the hotel of the 
high conftable, behind the temple, where 
they had carried his body ; for they had 
dearly loved each other, and were brothers 


Ancient Chivalry. 215 

and companions in arms.— Befides other 
ceremonies, they fomctimes exchanged 
their asms with one another, as a bond 
of love ; as we have fecn done in Homer, 
by Glgucus and Diomede. The engage- 
ment, then reciprocally taken, confifted 
in never abandoning their companion, in 
whatever fituation he fhould be; to aid 
him with their perfon and property, to 
the hpur of death ; and even to maintain 
for him, in certain cafes, the challenge of 
battle, if he died before he had accom- 
plifhed it. 

The brother in arms was to be the 
enemy of thofe who were enemies of his 
brother, and the friend of all thofe who 
were friends to him : both of them were 
to divide their prefent and future wealth, 
and employ both that and their lives for 
the deliverance of each other, if taken 
prifoner. The knights of the order of 
the Crefcent, were formed on this mo-* 
del.— Other aflbciations of this kind were 

P 4 made 

ai6 M EM o I R s o y 

made for certain periods ; as for expedi<« 
tions by fca or land, on fome martial en- 
terprize ; as that of Saintr^, Boncicaut, 
and Regnault de Role, who* departed to- 
gether, as brothers in arms, to go againft 
the Saracens ; and repafled afterwards 
through Hungary, the king of which 
they affifted in the war againft the mar-* 
quis of Moravia. They took a tender 
leave of each other, vdien this war was 

It appears alfo that thefe mutual adop** 
^ions have fometimes been limited to an 
affault gr defence ; as that of the brave 
captain St. Colombe ; who being wound-* 
cd to death in an affault at the fiege of 
Rouen, where Monficur dc Guife com« 
manded, this prince vifited and comfort-* 
cd him, faying, that he fhould ever bear 
^ tender part in his fortune and ho-^ 
pour, as his brother and companion in 


Ancient Chivalry, 217 

The violation of the oaths of frater* 
city was the higheft reproach; and be- 
came fo to the duke of Burgundy, when 
he failed in hi« engagement v^rith the duke 
of Orleans.— But to this example may be 
pppofed that of the duke de Bretagne, 
who was long an irrcconcileable enemy to 
the high conftable Cliflbn. At laft, hatred 
gave place to fentiments infpired by dif- 
pofitions adopted on becoming brothers 
in arms ; for theri? never was a finccrer 
friendfhip than that which reigned in 
both their hearts, to the death of the 
duke; and Cliffon continued it through 
.life to the children of the duke, for he 
was always their father. In the peace 
eftabliihed between the duke de Bretagne 
and the king, in 1393 — ** the good faith 
(fays the Monk of St. Denys) with which 
reftitutions were made, and damages oi^ 
all fides repaired, was admired by all. But 
what compleated the joy of the Bretons, 
was, that the hatred, formerly irfeconcile^ 
^blc, between the diike and Olivier dq 


2i8 Memoirs of 

Cliflbn, was on a fuddcn converted into a 
new and firm oath of brotherhood and 
friendfhip ; and the duke coming into 
France, to accomplifli the marriage of his 
cldeft fon with the daughter of the king, 
he left to the lord de Cliflbn the govern- 
ment of his country, and the care of his 
wife and children.'* 

One more inftance I cannot forbear 
giving of this league of affedtion, which 
we read in Brantome :— A young gentle- 
man, of tlie illuftrious houfe of Auton, 
in Xaintonge, left his eldeft brolher to 
enjoy his rich and mighty lands, and be- 
came poffeffed with the ardent defire, as is. 
cuftomary with you. ^?r brothers, to go 
and fee the world, inftead of amufing him- 
felf at the tombs of his anceftors. He 
ihut up his houfe, took what money he 
could amafs, and, affociating with him- 
felf, and taking for his brother in alli- 
ance and fortune, another younger brother 
pf Angoumois, of the houfe of Berncuil, 


Ancient Chivalry, 219 

they gave their cares to the wind ; and, 
fwearing never to abandon each other, but 
to live and die together, they fet out with 
mutual tendernefs and joy to fcek their 

The affiftance due to the brother in 
arms, was preferred to that the ladies ha4 
a right t6 exa(ft. A young lady haying 
in vain claimed the protection of ^ 
kilight, the latter excufed himfelf from 
it, alledging the neceflity which he was 
at that time under of flying to the ajSlft- 
ance of his brother. But fuch a juflifica- 
tion would not have been received, if he 
had failed in attendance on his fovereign. 
The duty owed to the prince was preferred 
fo all other duties : brothers in arms, of 
different nations, were only united toge-r 
ther as Jong as their fovereigns were united : 
and if their princes declared war againft each 
other, it forced their refpedlivc fubjeds to 
the diflblution of thofe focieties. But, ex- 
cepting this fingle cafe, nothing was more 
2 indiilbluble 

420 Memoirs of 

indiflblublc than thefe bonds of fraternity : 
they even wore the fanie habits and ar- 
mour ; they wifhed the enemy to miftake 
them for each other; and to run an equal, 
rifk of thofe dangers, with which each 
might be threatened.— Charles the Eighth, 
^t the battle of Fornoue, chofe nine of his 
braveft officers, and gave them a compleat 
armour, exadtly t;Jie fame as his own. He 
deceived, by this ilratagem, a troop of 
enemies, who, being leagued together to 
kill him, fought him through all the 
ranks, and thought themfelves affured of 
him^ whenever they met one of thefe nine 
bravd nobles. The honour the king did 
to thefe illuftrious warriors, in the choice 
of them, was the more fignal, as it en- 
gaged them in a fraternity of arms with 
their fovereign. 

This brotherly union was fo entire, 
that, as we have faid, they never owned 
jiny friends, that were not equally the 
friends of both. The duke of Bourbon 


Ancient Chivalry.^ izt 

thought himfelf obliged to refufe>. from 
Henry dc Tranftaraare, king of Caflfiie, a 
confiderablcfum, nicrcly becaufctbatprince 
was enemy. to Boucicaut^ his brother in 
arms : and knights, thus allied,, never en- 
gaged in any affair, but in concert with 
their brother knight. 

BouciCAUT paffing, on his return 
from Spain, by the count of JFoix's, 
was feveral times at his table, with fome 
Englifh knights. As they judged, by the 
particular abftinence they obferved in him 
during the repafts, that he had vowed fome 
enterprize of arms, they told him, " If 
that was all, there would foon be found 
one, who fhould deliver him from his 
vow." Boucicaut replied, **Hadhecom^ 
bated alOne, they might have decided the 
matter ^ but he had a companion in arms^ 
without whom he could do nothing : but 
that if any of them wiflied to engage, he 
was ready ; Qjily that, with their permiff* 
fion, he muffc take time to make it known 
to his companion^" 


222 Memoirs op 

The Englifh being afTembled a little be-- 
fore the battle of Pontvalain, held a council^ 
to deliberate in what manner they (hould 
attack the conftable Du Guefclim One 
amongft them, called Hue de Carvalai, open-^ 
cdhis mind in thefe terms : ** By the gods, 
Bertrand du Guefclin is the mofl valiant 
knight that reigns at prefent ! He is duke, 
count, and conftable, and was long my com- 
panion in Spain; where I found in him ho- 
nour, liberality, and friendfhip fo abundant, 
with fo much firmnefs and humility, and 
with fuch an enterprifing foul, that there 
is not a man, from Spain to Calabria, 
but knows there is not that thing in the 
world I would npt adventure, to ferve and 
accompany him, day and night, — to live 
and die with him,— were it not that he wars 
againft my lord the prince. This is my 
fincere opinion of this valiant knight/* 

At the end of an expedition, or When 
any rupture between the fovereigns an- 
nulled thefe unions, a mutual and exa£t 
account was rendered of what had been 



Ancie^nt Chivalrv. 223 

expended and received, loft and gained. 
The king beholding Saintrc depart for 
the crufadc of Pniffia, afkcd him whe- 
ther he and his companions had one comir 
mon purfe. And, in the hiftory of Bouci-* 
caut, we fee he was in fociety and account 
with the Englifli knight Carvalai. The 
prince of Wales having declared war with 
Henry of Caftile, he commanded all the 
Englifh, who were then in the fervice of 
that prince, to quit their Spanifh mafter, 
and repair to him. Hue de Carvalai, 
who was of the number, being forced to' 
feparate from Boucicaut, came to take his 
leave of him—" Gentle lord (faid he) 
we muft now part; we, who have been 
together in happy companionfhip ; have 
had the fame will, the fame conquefts, 
and the fame joys ; nor has either re- 
ceived a joy that the other has not par- 
taken of. But, in account, I think I have 
received more from you than I have dif- 
penfed ; therefore I pray you that we may 
fettle ; and what I owe you, I will pay or 




224 MEMoiks Of 

affign over to you."—*' This is a fermon^ 
indeed ! (faid Bertrand) — I have never \ 

thought of this account ; nor ' know I . 

whether you are indebted to me, or I to . 

you ^ but I pray you, as we are to fe- j 

parate, kt us be quit herein. But, if we \ 

meet again, we will make a new debt,, and 
will have it written : it now anly remains 
for each of us to adt nobly, knd for you | 

to follow your matter. May that aiFed:ion, 1 

which hath ever been, continue with us 1 j 

and, fijice it muft be fo, in love let us de- 
part I" He then kiffed Bertrand and all 
his companions ; and their feparation wag 1 

moft grievous to behold* 

sThe moft proper example of the ad-# 
vantage of thefe affociations, is that of 
the brave du Guefclin and Lewis dc San- 
cerre, brothers in arms, and infeparable | 

companions. They laboured a long time^ 
in union, to recover from the Englifh a 1 

great part o£ Guiennc^ and gave fuch 
perfeft mQ0i% of military valour, as to 


Ancient Chivalry. 245 

merit the eternal acknowledgments of the 
people to whom they were benefactors. 
•* It is enough (fays the Monk of St* 
Dcnys, in the eulogy of Sancerre) to re- 
mark thiEit he was the infeparable compa-^ 
nion, and brother in arms, of thp famous 
Du Guefclin ; and that having feconded 
hini in his conqueils in Guienne, he not 
only maintained them after his death, but 
extended them by further viiftories. 

These military fraternities gave to 
particular lords the means of engaging in 
enterprize^ worthy of the moft powerful 
fovereigns; but it was always with the 
knowledge and authority of that monarch 
whofe fubjefts they wete. When war did 
not retain them in his immediate fervice, 
they affociated together to clear a province 
of the robbers or enemies that infefted it ; 
to deliver diilant nations, who groaned 
under the yoke of the infidels ; to revenge 
an tfppreflcd prince; or to dethrone an 
ufurper. "Such- were the entcrprizes of 

Qv thdf 

2,t6 Memoirs of 

the duke of Boarix)n agakiil the bandit^ 
of the Lyonnois ; of Saintr^, in Pifuffia^ 
ggaiiiil the infidels ; and* that of Da 
. Guefclin, in Arragon^ againft Peter the 
Cruel •—Boucicaut formed aU order of 
knighthood, under the title of the White 
Lady with the Green ^ield, to reftare to 
the ladies the property takes from them 
by unjuft ravagers, in the preceding wars 2 
and he went alone, on another cnterprizc^ 
purely to revenge the memory of a lord> 
whom they had aiTaflinated* 

The duke of Burgundy combated twice 
in the lifts 3 once againft the duke of 
Gloucefter, brother of the kiog of 
England^ for the quarrel of Holland and 
of Hainault^ and againft the duke of 
Saile, for Madame Catharine de Chevoix» 
his beautiful aunt^ claming for her the 
right of fucceftion to the duchy of 
Luxembourg. — The fame ardour ani- 
mated two knights of Picardy, in 1425* 
for the maintenance of the rights of 



Jacqueline de Bavi^re> alkdging that duke 
Job A of Brabant had a better, right to 
the country and lordfliips of the duchefs 
Jacqueline ile Bariire^ his wife^ than the 
pretender to it^ the duke of Gloucefter*. 

It was at Koningiberg^ fioucicatlt 
learned that William Douglas^ a Scotch 
lord^ had been aflallinated by an Englifh-* 
man ; and that his own companions ne- 
gl«6^ to obtain the juflreironga for lU 
The noble and virtuous foul of Boucicaut 
revolted againft &> atrocious a crime. He 
provoked the £nglifh> and challenged 
ftny of thetn who fhould dare to main^ 
tain that the Scotchman had not been tan<« 
juftly put to death .•^In the hiftory of 
Charles the Sixths by the Monk of St, 
Denys^ the fubftance of the letter ad- 
dre0ed to the duke of LancaAer^ tike mur« 
derer of Richard the Second^ king of £ng«> 
land^was a challenge from the duke df Or- 
leans, to combat hin;i at the head of a hun- 
dred gentlemen ; on thecoadttion that the 
0^2 vanquiflied 

Z2% Memoirs or' 

ranquiflied ftiduld be at the mercy, of the 
viftor* The cartel was ill received; the he* 
rald> who brought it^ fent back without 
prefents, contrary to the noble cuftom of 
arms ; and the combat was rejected as 
unequal, on account of the inequality of 
|he parties, fince Lancafter was mounted 
on the throne of England. 

There was no country in which Chi- 
valry did not labour ufefully, either for 
the public, or for particulars. . Nothing 
wai3 fmall or. defpicable-in the eyes of a 
knight, if it comprehended the welfare of 
any individual. Had he, in his voyages 
or expeditions, received the hofpitality of 
the meanefl perfon^ gratitude would never 
fuiFer him to confider that peribn but as a 
noble and generous benefadori h& de* 
clared himfelf for ever his knight ; and 
fwore to renounce all the glory that could 
be propoiied to him, to acquit himielf of 
the debt ; to defend, proted, and fuccour 
him in time of need. This oath was 


Ancient Chivalhy, 239^ 

confidcred as inviolable, if we will believe 
the ancient romance writers of France, 
And why (hQi(ld we npt, wh^n the cuf- 
toms of antiquity are thought fufficiently 
proved by all the ancient poets ? 

Thus was Chivalry, in thefe dark ages, 
a fource of continual benefits ; and its pe* 
culiar glories fhone forth in the noble ac- 
tions of friendfhip, gratitude, and hu- 


lljO ME»ptR« 9 

f A R T IV, 

Dij^mBions and Honours in Cbivahy^ 
in JLife, and at Death. 

AT all times^ and in all profeflions^ 
there have been men refined enough 
to look upon the practice of virtue, and 
the fatisfaftion of doing good, a/ a fuffi- 
cient reconipence in itfel^j and it is not to 
j)e doubted but there \vere many knights, 
to vsrhom the pleafure of haying been ufe- 
ful to other men, and the inward tefti- 
mony that a generous foul feels in the dif- 
pharge of its duty, were more flattering 
than the applaufe conferred by the officers 
at arms, or the tumultuous cries of the 
people in the tournaments and the com- 



Neverthelbs^s, fttch pore motivei 
vfirc not of a nature to tmprefs the greatet 
part even of thofe, whg^ piqued theipfelye* 
on thinking diifercivtly from the vulgar^ 
A wife policy wa^ therefore defirous of 
multiplying the number of knights ; and 
it was thought necefTary to attach to this 
profeflion fpme exterior advantages; to 
raife its eclat by honourable prerogatives 1 
and to beftow on thofe, who exercifed it^ 
a diftingui(hed pre-eminence above all the 
other fquires and the reft of the nobility* 
The firft diftinAions were thofe of armour 
and habits ; and however frivolous the 
detail of theie things may at firft appear to 
fome, they will become important by con«> 
iidering they were the prizes of virtue. 

A LAKCB of fuch ftpength that it 
could fcarcely be broken; an helmet; 
an habergeon, or double coat of mail; 
the throat-piece; the mace; a (hort 
fword to the croft; and a (hield, inter* 
woven With iron, fVord^proof, were the 
0^4 arms 


arms affigned to the knights exclufively^ 
The coat of arms, painted on a plain clotli> 
was the badge of their pre-eminence over 
all the other orders of the ftate anci of war* 
Even the fquires were not permitted ta 
engage with thcfe knights, on any occafion . 
Had they been allowed to do fo» armed as 
they were only with their fword andfhield^ 
a flight cap of iron which had no creft, and 
covered with a thin cuirafs, or breaft-plate— 
how would they have been able to defend 
themfelves from an adverfary, almoil invul- 
nerable ?— A young man (in the romance 
of Aledtor) offering to make known his 
innocence by the proof of his fword and 
(hield, adds, — •** for yet, alas! knight I 
am not, nor bear I arms as fuch/' The 
fquire that took the coat of arms before he 
^ was made a knight, was for ever excluded 
that honour. 

The people wore only on their joyr-r 
nies, and even in combats, a fort of knife, 
which hung down to the bottom of their 


Ancient Chivalry. 233 

thigh. The drieft and lighted wood was 
ufcd for the lances ; as the pine, the fyca- 
more, the afpin, and the linden tree : the 
very beft of all were made of the afli. 
The top of the lance was furnifhed ^ with 
a fteel point well tempered, an iron head^ 
and a flag, which trailedalong a vaft lengths 
— Barbed horfes, or horfes armed, were alio 
the privilege of knights. William de 
Tudela fpeaks thus : ** In a formidable 
army I counted twenty-five thouland 
fhields, belonging to valiant foldiers, 
whofe horfes had manes ; and ten thou« 
fand who were themfelves, and their 
horfes, covered over with brafs and iron, 
dazzling to behold.'* By the firft he means 
the fquires, who were never allowed to 
ride barbed or armed horfes ; and by the 
latter, knights mounted on horfes, whofe 
manes could not be perceived: whether 
it was that the armour hid them ; or that 
the hair was cut ofl^, that the horfes might 
be armed with the more eafe. We fhall fee 
this yrzs the cafe with fome knights, who 


234 Memoirs of 

)iad their hair 6ut off from the top of their 
beads. Hunters, for their convenience, 
have followed this cuftom for their 
horfes. The knights alfo fought, at leaft 
in the liAs, in long robes that came down 
to their heels j and their horfes were co- 
vered with houfings that touched their 
feet. It is not cafy to comprehend how 
it was pofliblc to fight in fo embarraffing 
an equipage ; but the ancient feals prove 
it was the cuflom to do fo. 

The importance of the coat of arms 
may be judged of from relating an anec- 
dote, in the hiftory of Charles the Sixth, 
of the duke of Brabant, who got one 
made in hafle to go againft the enemy, at 
the battle of Agincourt, in 141 5. — '*Then 
came the duke Anthony de Bfabant, who 
had been fent for fuddenly by the king 
of France; he arrived in extreme ibaftei 
and taking dne of the banners of his trum* 
peters, and dividing it into two pieces^ 
he made of it a coat of arms." The gene-^ 


ANCtEttY CHlVAtRY. ijl 

ral tttle th&t forbade the fquires and othef 
f^rTons to chdlenge the knight^^ vrovkld 
then have been confidered In the fame 
Kght> as a pri^te foldier, in our tithes, 
challenging his officer or his general. And 
this has paflfed into the eomdMti Cttftom* 
of fociety, between petfons bf dUkttnt 
^nks ; and wagers or challenges are ne<« 
ver given without thefe referveS^ and tht^ 
Attentions that politehefs requires. 

Flore, going to defend the honour of 
fikficheflore, who was condemned to 
death, by engaging in a combat with the 
Sehefchal Who had been his judge, de* 
fires tp be made a knight ; for, fays he, 

*' No {qvire can of right 

^ Arm himfttf againA a knight.^ 

But as knights might abufe their privi* 
leges, and commit violence and injufticc 
againft fquires, ancient jurifprudence, to 
remedy this inconveniencje, fays the au- 
thor of the Aflizes of Jerufalem, obliged 
•^he knightj in certain cafesj to ii^ht on 


236 Memoirs of 

foot againft the fquire^, as he. was armed 
with only a* fword and a fhield. The 
knights loft very early their prerogatives, 
by admitting their fquir^s, in the four-r 
teenth century, to mix with them in the 
tournaments and battles. The fquires-^ 
abufed this condefcenfion, took armorial 
ehfigns, and infenfibly appropriated to 
themfclves the ornaments of the knights. 
-irBy this invalion of their rights, all rule? 
were broken, all orders were mixed, and 
the ancient f^bordination was totally loft. 
Some knights, however, attempted to re^ 
yive. the ancient laws ; and by fome they 
were yet attended to, at the end of the 
fixteenth century, 

Edward Norris, the brother of . 
colonel Norris, ferving under the count 
of Leyceftre, in 1587, had fent to the 
count of Hohenlo a cartel or chal- 
lenge, to demand of him reparation for 
an injury, in having engaged againft him. 
The latter pretended that, by the laws pf 
war, it was not permitted for a common 


Ancient Chivalry. 237 

foldicr, as Norris was, to make fuch a 
defiance without the confent of his gene*, 
lal. The count of Leyceftre maintained 
the contrary; but, that there might be 
no pretext for declining the engage- 
ment, from inequality of rank, the count 
inade Norris a knight. 

If the arms of the fquires were en- 
riched with precious ornaments^ gold, 
the pureft of all metals, was referved 
for thofe of the knights, for their fpurs, 
their houfings, and the harnefs of 
their horfes. It was wrought in the 
ftuff of which was made their robes, 
their cloaks, and all the parts of their 
veftments and equipage. The golden 
harnefs (fays a writer) for the foot, as 
well as the horfe, was deftined to the 
knights ; the king, however, granted it to 
the citizens whom he ennobled. In the 
drefTes diftributed to the knights and the 
fquires, gold was for the firft, and filver 
for the fecond. In public aflcmblies, 
the knights,' and the ladies of knights, 
2 were 

z^^ HtMoim Of 

yrcce porfemilly (Uftingui&ed by dacih 
dreflcs. Tfc? wife of the knight Waa 
called I^adXt that of the fquire, Gentlp^ 
woman: aad in th^ public recorder or 
other writings, th? titles of Don, Sire, 
Meffire (a partici^lar tijtle of honour/ equsii 
to My Lord, My Lady» and Madam) were 
given to perfons of quality. The poet 
Euftache I>eichamp$ fet^ the l^y and the 
knight in oppofitipn Co the gentlewoiran 
s^nd the fquire. 

The ufurpattpns on thefe titl?; caiiied 
them^ though long held up^ with great 
eclat» to hecon^e of lefs conibquence, and 
foioe of theoi to be wholly loft. The titk 
of Noble Lady, and Ma4^^ ^f^ gi'^^V 
by the kings of Fraooe to ihe w^yes of 
knights i thofe pf iquire^, even of the h«ft 
•raflk, were finjply Gentlewomen -—Frae^ 
cefi of Anjou becoming a widow before 
her huiband was made a knight» waa 
entitled only Mr$. France;, not Maddm« 
If any wives of fquires were cajjed by 
the latter title^ it W9S h^cgu^ thfy h94 
^ " been 

Ancient Chivalry* 239 

been widows of knights who had digni^ 
fied them with the incffac cablc^honours of 
Chivalry* The daughters of the kings of 
France alone, from their fuperior rank, 
obtained this honour before marriage^ ia 
the quality of queens : and thifi extended 
fo rarely to the daughters of other fove- 
reigns, that the heirefs of the Houfe of 
jBurgundy» pcincefs of the Low Coun^* 
tries, was always called Mademoiielle of 
Burgundy, till the day of her marriage 
with the King of the Romans. --^OUvier 
de ia Marchc, after the recital of the birth 
of the daughter of the count dc Charo- 
lois, ia 1456, adds, '* The preparation€ 
were made for the baptifm of MadeHK>i« 
fclle of Burgundy ; for in that time (he 
was not called Madame, becaufe Mon- 
sieur was not fbn of the king/' Bran- 
tdme gives alfb. the title of Mi(krefs to the 
Scnefchal of Poitou, his grandmother. 

The filver deftined for the lijuires, and 
the gentlewomen who were their wives, 
marked the difference betv^^ccn. them and 


240 M E M O 1 R 5 O F 

|)erfons of an inferior iituation, who wore 
only woollen ftuffs, or cloth without 
gold or filver. Knights alone had a right 
to wear, particularly for the lining of 
their cloaks or mantles, ermine, iable, 
and meniver, which were thechoiceft kinds 
of fur ; lefs coftly furs, of a different kind^. 
Were for the fquires ; and the pooreft fort 
of all for the people. The knight was 
obliged to keep up, by a magnificent ex- 
terior, the refped due to his title. ** If -^ 
(fays Matthew de Couci) men who are 
not knights are obliged to honour thofe 
who are, how much more ought knights 
. to maintain their honour by fine and 
noble veftments, horfes, harnefs, and fer- 
vants ? and they ought alfo thus to do ho- 
nour to thd other knights their peers/' 
The long and training mantle, which enve- 
loped the whole perfon, was particularly 
referved for the knight, as the moft au- 
guft and noble decoration he could have, 
when he was not dreffed in his armour. 
The military colpur of fcarlet, which the 
warriors appeared in among the Romans, 


A M C J E N T C ik I sr A «. k y. . ^4t 

Was chofen for this noble maxxtlei which 
Was lined with crmifxc> or other precious 
/ur«i It was calUd the Mantle of Ho* 
iiour^ and there is yet extant iti France 
an a^icieiit allegorical work^ in vcrfc^ Under 
j^ jtitle } with a i»iniature which givt$ 
jthe r^pre&ntation of xt« The kin^s of 
^raace^ when they made knights, prc- 
jlented to them thefe mantie^ j atxd thid 
gift was generally accompanied with that 

> of a palfrey^ or at leaft a horfe-hit of 
gold or gilded i which ^fwcred^ to the 
'^teflge given on the invcftitureSi as thp 

^ ia$rk of the:^ienated fiefi Th^ie^diftri- 
htftioiis^ which: made a confidpcable arti* 
clc in the cxpepcesof the kings.of Francq^ 
wefc^aljed their Livery j and were renewed 
hy them either at the two feafons of the 
year, fummer and winter, fays Labourcuri 
j>r at the plenary courts of the great fcafts. 
The pieces of velvety or other flujfsi giveu 
now to the magifbrates of Franeej are in 
jnenarial of thefe presents ^ fis the ancient 
R right 

542 Memoirs OF -' 

right of having the mantle of crminci is 
figured in the atchievements of the dukes, 
and the prefidehts a mbrtier, or pfc- 
lidents of fovereign cottrts^, to whofti* btJ* 
longs a cap peculiar to their office ^ who 
thcmfelves borrowed the fafhion of it 
froni thofe painted' on the carpetsf ahi 
pavilions, '- untier which tht knights wire 
in coyeirt l^eforc the toiirhamerft begaal 
In ther proniotion- (fays Madame Serigne) 
of fixty and of fourteeifr^ knights of the 
order of the fioly Ghofti in i6»8; the 
^ing/ fbr that time only, ^aVc a difpfettfar 
\ion to feveral knights, to oniit wearing thfc 
mantle, that moft ancient ciiftom of Chi- 
valry J air ttte ceremony of their reception; 

'> ^he ordinance of the kingbf Francealfo; 
in 1294, prohibited not only the Wear- 
ihg of coftiy furs to citizens, but the ttfe 
of gold; precious flones, girdles of golil^ 
'pearls, jewels, and crowns of gold and 

V iJlveri— iA woman, whofe^ hufband was 
iDnly a merchant, decked herlGblf wiTh a 


AjJciEhT Chivalry. 243 

toarfer fort of fable, as being the daugh-* 
ter of a knight J confidcring herfelf as 
privileged thereby: which obliged the 
king to make a new edidt. And this 
was often neccffary, to ftop the courfc 
of luxury, and to bridle the ambition of 
thofe, who would ufurp what did not be- 
long to their ftation. And in i486 all 
fuch were again prohibited the wearing 
of gold and (ilk ; which, by a relaxation 
of the laws, fquires and gentlemen were 
now- allowed, but with great and wife 
caution. And the attention not to con-> 
found ranks went fo far^ that, in the pub- 
lic ceremonies, when the knights were 
dreifed in damafk, the fquires were only 
allowed fattin ; or, if the latter were al- 
lowed habits of damafk, the former were 
drelTed in velvet.— Rene, king of Sicily, in 
his treatife on the form of the tournament, 
recommends to the chiefs to give to each 
of the judges, chofen from among the 
khights, a long robe of velvet; to the 
two others, who were feleded from th« 
R 2 fquires. 

244 Mej^oius of 

iquires^ the fame fafhioned robes^ but of 
damafk.-*^The queen having fent to Saiii-r 
tri and his companions a piece of vdveti 
diftinguilhed them from the iquires, by 
giving the latter damaik.— Matthew de 
Cottci /peaks thus of the engagements 
becv^een three Burgundians and three 
Scotchmen: Two of the three champions^ 
who advanced the firft on horfeback, be« 
ing knights, were drefled in long robeg 
of black velvet, faced with rich iable; 
and the third, who was only a fquire, had 
a robe of fattin faced with fur. And at the 
banquet of the duke of Burgundy> a» 
Lifle, in 1454, the knights who aflifled 
at the feaft were drcffed in damafk, the 
fquires and the gentlemen in fattin^ the 
f>ages and the airchers in woollen Geoff. In 
fine, fcarlet, and red of every kind, wa» 
^piropriated to the knights^ from its 
grandeur and brightnefs > and is now 
become the drcfs of the fuperior magif«> 
trates and dodors in France. ^^ Gentle hAy 
<fays the poet Dcfchampfr to Truth) I oboie 


Ancxbnt Cbivaxry* 245^ 

to tell thee, that learned dodors aftd grave 
magiftrates are clad in rich habits^ as well 
as valiant knights."— The word range, in 
the French language, to fignify high and 
arrogant, was probably introduced from 
this colour being worn by exalted per- 
fons; among whoni was Artcville, the 
chief of the revolted and victorious Ghen^ 
tois, who )vas drcfled in robes of icarlct 
and £tnguine, a colour red as bloods-— Iq 
the ancient French work, in verfe, entitled 
The Lover turned Shoemaker, we read 
^* the moft yi«^«ii»f are caught;" where 
the word /anguine is put for vain, proud, 
arrogant. And Brantonxc, fpeaking of 
the affair of the Swifs, at Navarre^ 
againft M/ de la Tremoille: ** This 
(fays he) was a great exploit, and a lucky 
hour of war i and fo rouge did they be- 
come and infolenty that al) nations wer^ 
by them defpifed; and they thought of 
beating all the world." And in the Vigils 
of Charles the Seventh, the poet making 
Merchandife one of his perfgnages, fpeaks 
thus : ^^ Merchandife was (Ij^ vogue, 
-R 3 made 

246 Memoirs op 

made a great ftir, and triumphed fo, that 
thofe who ufcd it became rouge and info- 
lent with the fudden wealth gained to 
themfclves and their poller ity/' 

The knights had another prerogative 
with refpeft to their drefs, which did not 
dxtend to the fquires. In that age, they 
coniidered thofe as clerks or fcholars, who, 
having received the tonfure, were married 
only once, or who had not eipoufed a 
widow; conformably to what is now 
pradtifed in France, in the order of St. 
Lazare : whereas, in general, every clerk 
who was married, loft the ordinary privi-. 
lege of being carried before the eccleiiaf-^ 
tical judge, if he was arrefted in his fe-* 
cular habit ; but if he was a knight, and 
if he wore the habit of a knight infteadof 
that of a clerks he enjoyed all the immur> 
nities of the dignified clergy. 

The laft diftinft particularity belonging 
to the knights, was, that they fhould /have 
the crbwQ of their heads i whether from 

V '. -^ the 


A N c I «,N T :C H r V A L Ji Y. 247 

the fear of being feized by the hair, if they 
loft their helmet in battle; or whether 
they found it inconvenient under the iron 
cap, and under the helmet, which they 
continually wore, Joinvillc iays, iji his 
manufcript of Loicques, ^' When we 
were at l^oi tiers, I faw a knight name4 
Meffire GeofFroy de Rangon, who, for « 
great outrage done him by the count dc 
la Marche, had jfwofn by his faints, that 
he Would never be clipped like a knight^ 
but Would bear about his wrong like a 
womin, till he ihould behold himfelf 
revenged of the count de la Marche. And 
when Meffire GeofFroy faw the count dc 
la Marche, his wife and his children^ 
kneel before the king, and cry out for- 
mercy, he had a treftle brought in, or a 
piece of wood on four feet, to hold a table, 
book, and chafing-pan ; took off his vow; 
and caufcd himfelf to be fhaved immedi?- 
atcly, in the prefence of the king, thp 
count de la Marche, and feveral others/* I 

R A These 


i-fttiiA imildttis were pot howevM 
unifofmly adhertd to ; and the rule^ 
6f Chivalry have varied^ with rcfpc^ 
to armd and habits^ at particular periods^ 
«hd iti particular circumftanccs. The 
arftiofial enfigns on thcit fliields, fhc 
Itreamers of their lances, and the banner 
which they fometimes wore on the top of 
the helmet, diftinguifhed them from each 
other.-*^As it was originally frdm fove* 
feign princes, or paramount lords^ ttat 
they received their title and iWord, 
they had made it a duty, on their recep- 
tion , into Chivalry, to adopt .tlje at- 
chievement) of thofe from whom they re^- 
^ived their title ^ or at leaft to taj^e fomp^ 
piece of their blazonry to add. to that, pf 
their own family. But fome knights, of 
an elevated ambition and refined 4urn of 
mind, would not take any devices till 
they had merited them by their owh ex- 
ploits : and if their ihield had oh it the 
blaxon of their familyi they put oVer it »a 
lioufing, till, by the houfing being torn 


nway m the cembEt or tonrnmiBat, tbf 
l^ce from ivhence they fpnmg migh^ apy 
pear^ to their praife and ^ory« Tfat 
^x^ights looked upon |hcmfelve9 as tfa* 
children of thofe who had ariQed themi 
from whence the French word aJouter, to 
(d^b^ which was derived^ fays di| Cange^ 
ftom aJoptare, to adopts 

One of the moft ancient grants of 
poats of arms^ was that of Richard^ kin^ 
of England, in favour of Geolfiroi Troti- 
lart, lord of Joinvillc, who conferred oh 
him this honour for his merit and fer- 
vice, and gave him his own arms, which 
he joined with his fmiily's. It was from 
a fimilar motive of acknowledgment and 
refpedl, that the prince of Antioch, only 
fixteen years old, quartered his arms with 
thofe of St. Lewis, who made him ti 
knight ; and that fcveral cities of France 
^lold their arms from the king, as do the 
cardinals from the Pope. The defirc of 
concealing the privilege of blaaionry, was 


ajo /x. Memoirs of 

praftifcd by the knights-crrant in parti* 
cular, the firft year of their promotion. 
As one of thefc adventurers^ whofe arm* 
had been changed without his knowledge, 
jnade no anfwer to thofe who nominated 
and urged him to the jouft, by the at- 
chievemefit or coat of arms they faw oa 
his fhield^ — ^* I am of opinion (faid one) 
that you are of the knights of this year, 
Vrho know not ^yhat arms, you wear on 
your ihield/'— The houfing or cafe with 
whicji they covered their fhield, was fome- 
times made of a fort of gimple or gauze^ 
whiter than the liUy- Sometimes they 
painted it a iingle colour ; thus we find, 
in ancient romance, one of the heroes 
ibining his fhield with the blood of 
a. kid he had , killed. But the firft year 
of their reception, they were generally 
white, to imitate the example of the 
Knights of the Round Table. The 
ihi^l^s painted of one fingle colour, wh&- 
:ther on cloth or metal, and known, in the 
authors on^ ^heraldry, by the nanie of 


Ancient Chivalry. 251 

ftained cloths, feem to have preferved the 
memory of thofe white ihields ; of which 
an ancient chronicler has tranfmitted a 
In a combat given ^near Lille^ in 
Flanders J a knight in white arms was. 
ilain, who would not make known, when 
h? engaged, \vhat was his name ^ nor, on 
refufing to do this, fqrrender his arms ta 
any intreaty • This obftinatc determination 
to die, rather than reveal himfelf, proves 
that the author of the romance of Per-* 
ceforeft gives a juft idea of the manners 
of thofe times in the difcourfe of his 
Young Unknown, who prefents bim-r 
felf before Alexander^ When this prince 
^fks him in What country he was born,— 
** I aqm not yet born," faid the young I 
jnan. *' What is that you fay ?'* ap- j 
fwered the king, ** Sire (replied he) no 
jnan is born before he feels himfel? 
adorned with virtue." — *' Tryly, I agree 
to it (faid the king) ^ but at leaft tell mp 
then yopr name/' — ^M have no more 


ajs Mbmoiri of .. 

jKune than coiiatry (replied tke yomig 
man) j I have not yet merited aay ; but all 
my defire i^.to obtain one^'^^^Laurent du 
Plefiis ieem^ to have taken up this roman-* 
tic idea^ in adopting for his country the 
place in which he was made a knight, 
the name of which he likewife took. 
Laurent being made a knight at Morf» be- 
yond the fea, himfelf and children hare 
taken the na^me of Morf. The romantic 
names of jfeveral perfonaj;ce, known in 
hiftory, prove the dcfign that fome 
knights had to difguife themfelves unde# 
borrowed names. In the lift of knights 
in the courts of the kings of France, 
Charles the Fifth and Sixth, are a Lan^ 
celot, a Gadifer, a Carados; all heroes, 
defcribcd in the old romances. The al- 
luiion of the arms to the name of him 
who wore them> produced what was caU 
led Armes Parlantes ; as that of Arpajon, 
whofe name fignified a player on the 
harp ; and that was quite agreeable to the 
fpirit of the ancient' Armoriafts, though 

' fufpetSt.ed 



ANClEflT pHlVALRY. .tf 5 J 

fufpeded hy fome for the inventions oi 
ignorant anii vulgar people* 

The crois carried againil the infidels; 
a lance, a fword, or any Qthpr piece of 
«Lrms, taken at a tournament« or in a <H>fli*- 
bat i a tower, . a cafth^ and even tiic 
battlements and pallifadoes; of j^mparts 
forced or defended ^ with an infinity of 
other exploits of thi^ kiad^ were the orlr 
^ of the ^iiibrent figures o|i the ihields^ 
itpeatedly marked, when the faaac ctr 
fHoits were renewed by the. i^e knighc 
^From whence it arifes^ thfit i(Hne figures 
were marked without end on a (hidd; 
as the heads of lances, called Fkurs de Lys, 
were originally on every ihicld of the 
kings of France : and fbme have ^one & 
far as to fay, that the very wounds given 
and received were added to apddefcribed on 
the ihields of the knights. But what they 
thu9 put round them, feems rather fie- 
figned to exprefs the damagfe done to the 
ihield in the different ways it was br«ifed 


or fla(hcd*-*-To the example of the roytfl 
{hiclds, may be added thofe of the Houie 
of Montmorenci, fo fruitful of great and 
noble charafters. The fixtecn eaglets on 
the ^rms of that Houfe, are the glorious 
ifaarks of two illuftrious aSions, done by 
two great men of that Houfe, reprefertting 
fixteen colours taken .from the Imperial 
troops, on two memorable days of aftion, 
related by A'rnaod, the famous advocate of 
France, in his public eulogy on Henry 
de Montmorenci. Matthew the Second de 
Montmorenci, having taken fixteen ftand- 
ards in the battle of BoVines, Philip 
^Auguftus, as a monument of this glorious 
vi^ory, willed that this Houfe ftiould 
bear, ever after, fixteeii eaglets inftead of 
'four, which belonged to their former at- 
"chievement. The impoflibility of plac- 
ing more than three on the little or pri- 
vate feal, occafioned afterwards the re- 
duftion to that number, when they came 
to lofe fight of the ancient principles 
" of Chivalry. The arms were alfo chinged 


Air<riEK.T Chivalry, 2$^ 

or diinini£hed»; or even taken away at laft, 
if the knight committed anf gfeat fault. 

in difcourfing of Chivalry, we have 
already' traced ^the idea of that judicious 
policy, of which a later age furnifhed ^ 
memorable example : A regiment of the 
French dragoons having carried off. the 
kettle-drums from the enemy's cavalry, 
Lewis the Fourteenth granted them the 
'privilege to bear kettle-drums at the head 

: of their fquadrons. — Punifhmcnts and pri^- 
vilcges were thus ever proportioned to dc- ^ 
ftru The knights had fome diftinguifhing 
jSKivantages : they were diipenfed from be.-- 
jng on guard or in waiting, to which the 
pages and fquires were always fubjeft; 
and/thofe men who belonged to a knight 
who came to refide in a. city, could not 
be obliged to pay the taillage or quit-rent 
which the burgefs had a right to raife 

> from all new inhabitants. In ancient 

times, the moft illuftrious birth gave to 

the nobles no perfonal rank, unlefs they 

had the honour of knighthood ; nor could 

10 they 

Aey liaye &e &al> or fet up the coat at 
arms of their fathei*; and if they wcvt 

^ (contrading parties to any deed, they bor- ^ 

^ towed the fcal of their piothcr^ their «tu-» 
tor, friend or relati on, or thatof thecDtirt 
; ^f jtiftice in which the deed was ratified* 

• TliE l^«ttch uobilitjr icarttcd from the 
Certnaiisto/odlifider tniiitaiy fervicea^stfae 
light from which they held their raak 
ttttd ofetaincjd their arms* They woce 4 
fetiH iea! on their finger iii a ring, as the 
•higher prelates have always done^ Ec* 
card count d* Auttm, fays LaboUreur, ^be*' 
qneathed three rings With engi*aVea ftailes^ 
The Monk of Vigeois relates, that, ift: a 
War between the vifcount de Limogbs and 
ihc count de Pcrigord, as the two armied 
-went to battle, the count de Pef igord was 
killed by the citizens of Pui s on which 
one of them* a rich man, took his horft^ 
mounted it, and prttting -on his fii>ger the 
ting of this lord, infukcd the inisfortUne 
of his vaffals, who remained without- thek 
liead. And ChafUe Mufarti 4n his eulogy 
3 ^ on 

Anxjiemt GhivAclry. 257 

bn a knight exclaims^ ^' He is good ! — he 

- is noble !-^hc wters the irmorial.fhield !4- 

he is honoured with the ring!" Hiftoric 

' monuments furniih us with many iliihnces 

>of this kifid^l among nobles of the higheft 

'rank. The regents of the kingdom of 

'France anciently fealed with their own 

^ ieaU and not with that of the minor king. 

.Charles the Sixth, by his cdid of 1407, 

changed this cuflom ; - commanding that 

all kings, his fuccefibrs^ whatever was 

.their age of minority, fliould be intitled^ 

after their fathers death. Kings of France, 

and be crowned and confecrated* He, 

therefore, who had not received knighthood, 

could not be reprefented. on a feal^ in his 

armour^ holding in one hand the &ield, 

and in the other a fword llretched oirt, as 

in the field, fighting on the day of battle; 

or hold landsy. or do fervice for them in 

. peribn, as a free man* But, however youngs 

rthe moment he was created a knight> 

he received the honour^ of the feal ; was 

emancipated 3 took rank among thofe to 

S whom 

25$ MzT^raixs «r 

whom thp glory aAdjodmimfttai^da of the 
ftate ^^ coni^iiled > and vtkih iismn fa«* 
<:am8 the prop^ and defeiice. o£ the thsone. 
Several fons of kings ttsexc aneicmtLyr made 
kniglits from the cradio ; and,!' great mim-- 
ber» of inferior quality, at theageof fifteen 
or fixteea years : for as the condition of a 
knight implied that he wa& to be a judge, 
governor, and defender of others, it wa« a 
natuial prefUmptioo that hefhould be ctpa*- 
ble of maintaining hi« own rights, and of 
governing himfelf. It was therefore no- 
cefiary l:ke fhould be free &om fervitiule 
and condraint of e^ery kind ; and, eon^ 
formably to the ancient privilege of the 
Roman fbldiers, exempted ffom paying 
all taxes on proviiion or merchandi^ 
bought for his own uie, or toIL of any 
kind^ His armour and equipage cauied 
him to be diftinguifhed at a difbuice ; and 
at his approach the barriers and gatQs 
opened inftantly to admit or to give him 
a free paffage* The knight^ on his p^t> 
ipreferv«d fuch order and difcipline among 


Ati-diENt CftiVAlkY. 259 

thoft who foUbWcd In his tfain^ thaf the 
c6uhW?y thtbtlgh which he paffcd had ho 
tdiforder to complain of; or iEany by ac- 
cident v^s committed, he was rcfpon-* 
fible, and paid the full value for the da^ 
mage: as has been related of the chevalier 
&[yard. If the fate of arms caufed hint 
to Ml into the hands of his enemy, his 
dignity freed him from the chains thkt 
would have been the lot of any other pri* 
loner. His w&rd was the bond that re- 
tained him; and the faith of his oath 
procured him> though locked in his pri- 
fon, called the Place of Courtefy, every 
ialleviation and help that could' mitigate 
the rigour of his iltuation. 

We have fccn that the higher barons, to 
induce a greater number of warriors to enlift 
undef their banners, difplayed a royal mag- 
nificence in the promotion of thefe knights. 
It is poffible their treafures were exhaufted 
by fttch profufions, or their ardour ahated ; 
and they judged it no longer neceflary to 
gain,, at fo high a price, the humberlcfs 
S 2 recruits 

266 Memoirs e p /^ 

recruits who prcffcd to fcrve them. It 
appears, at leaft, that thofe who received 
knighthood in fucceeding ages, fliewed, in 
their turn, the magnificence which had 
formerly been confined to the nobles. 

It was, no doubt, on account of this 
ezpence, that the pofTeiTors of lands, called 
Lordfhips, when themfclves or their eldeft 
fons were to receive the honours of Chi- 
valry, had a right to levy on their vaflals and 
fubjedts, of the laid lands, for the charges of 
their reception, one-fourth of the taillage 
their lands paid, which were called Aids of 
: Chivalry : the other three were due to them 
on the marriage of their daughter; on the 
pa)rment of their own ranfom, when freed 
from prifon; and on th^ ultramarine voy- 
' ages they undertook. Philip le Bel and 
Francis the Firft iffued out an ordinance 
for the levy of this aid ; Philip, for the 
knighthood of his fon; and Francis for 
: the marriage of his daughter, and the 
^ knighthood of his fon.— BoutcUler^ the 
^ .famous 

Ancient Chivax-ry. 26r 

famous^ civiliin of the fourteenth century, 
terms the levy of aid from the nobles, a 
,grarit of courtefy ; but adds, " It is the 
ciiitom fo to do indeed, and cuftom is in- 
heritance, cuftom is right with fome, and 
Hiuft be followed ; but I counfcl that the 
difl^rence between the right of kings and 
the courtefy to nobles, may be evidently' 
feen, not to give the fame thing for the 
levy; but to change, and fometimes give 
it itt a jewel, at others in a golden goblet/' 
Madame de Sevign^, however, writing? 
of the grand reception of M. de la Tri-* 
mouilk, in 1689, adds, " This was one 
of the occafions wherein they redoubled 
honours and .refits, according to the right, 
from certain lands/' And this was agree- 
able to the fehfe of La Roque and Du 
Cange, who confider thefe rights as le- 
gitimate, arid according to the eftabli£h- 
. ment of 6t. Louis, -when they fey, ** If a 
geritlenxah marries his fon, he ought tp' 
give him the third of his lands 5 and'aHb 
vlt^n he is made a knight/' 

S3 As 

262 Memoirs of 

\ As in all orders of th(e ftatc, fo in tho 

tribunal$ of jvftice^ the title of Knight w^ 
particularly refpe&ed; it being prejfi^poed 
|hat ^hpfc who bore it wpre always difppfc4 
to defend the caufe of rigj^^t. Moreover, 
l^nights could not be q^Ued to jufHc^, 
l^ut with all the caution ai^4 reipf^d; dvffiL 
%o their dignity. If thej: obtained qofts 
qgaf nil their a^verfaf y^, ttliey wer^e adjii;4g^ 
a larger recompfn.ce than V^s given tc^ 
i<j^uire§: bat if they merited cond^ip*; 
natio^ (fo much the mpre cul^p^Ie^ 9^ 
th^y ovjred to. others t^p e^cjuijpje of e^fei^ 
virtpe) ^gyjiaid-a do^hU&j\Qy and tfe^r 
ffimilica, who ought, it w^s fMpp9f?di. to 
liave rcfl:rai|ied tlieq(i,j^hetl^crparont6, bfo-^ 
tjiers, or near relatiops/y/ere ipf^df^^Pth. 
ifi the pcnaltj? and th^ /h^jM^^-^AgrflPabk 
to ^p pr^ppqrtion ^e- have; gigo^tipiied^ i^ 
\i^ ordered t)i^t the knigl^^s^ at t^. gi|g€» 

af'il>un4e.^h ip.i^J.U A»»lfJ. feflftr 
9«^fajfcinc^, vyhile ffur WWiOgly %Q9t^ 
tpd to. thefgjjirpSii . . . - 


An c I » N r .'Q tti^v A;L ry. 3^63 ^ 

'Af$' kmght^^ : wer^ '&oik t^ monal^n^ of - 
thoir creatipHflp ahWCs &nd tfoupffillqrf^ in all 
affali« of }tt(iiQO^ To they prefer\^d a long 
time the exclu&ve privikgo of pofibfling 
cert^ 'offi<;«» of ,t^ m^giftracy^ That 
of Sefkcf^hal of Beaueaire being brought 
iiKo p9ttiai3ntent ag a itniatter of conteft^ 
on« ^ the competitors aU^4g^ that his 
adver&ry wad a^ aluHgllt. The empe-* 
roi" . Sigifreon^, in whpfe presence this 
cavfe was plea^ci conferred knighthood 
on the difputed challenger^ and by thi$ 
means obtained him the office he de« 
manded. Thky; poiSbfltd alfd» oH account 
of :thfi;anoient cmioeil oS the kings ha'fing 
b^eik fbraied of kriigl^i 'the ri^t of be«, 
ing ^mpU^yt^ in all puUk n^gotsiatioii^. 
If ill was iteaeffitfy t# ftnsdr asbbiifladorsr to ^ 
treaCiCif thr liusft iinportmit.aifl&irsy either 
of Jjeacfi or ^^> they chofe alw^ays for 
^ack Qrit&a^y>ai|d in equal Duaiber, eccle* 
fisAks and kni^Us ; and in after-tin^es 
they added the fame number of ma- 
^iftwlcs : — the Aini order was formed 
S 4 when 

264" • M-E MO I R S O F- ' ' 

whcA t^e office *of judge was taken away 
from^ knighthood, which had originally 
e^cifed it. The. Leagttert- having fent 
a deputation to the Pope, in 1589, it 
was compofcd (fays M. de Thou) of a 
knight, a counfdlor of the parliament, 
and an abb^ • this party affefting to 
follow the ancient forms of admini-> 
ftration of the ftate fo much the more 
zealoufly, as they departed fr&m the prt- 
mitive and fundamental laws of got^eni-^ 
ment. ' ' ■ ^ ..: 

But of all the rights belonging to a 
knight',' the moft noble, without doubt, 
wsis the privilege of creating Other knigbts, 
even on the idftant of hi6 own pfomotion. 
This^ was: in &isoc fort*' partic^)ating tlic 
power^aud authority of fbveceigns. AUb, . 
in the folemn feftivals aftd a^mblies, ^he 
knights Jiad their tables patticulariy ierv- ^ 
ed by the fquires-; from* vfhich. even thcM 
fons of kings were excluded^ . if . they h^\ 
not received ktughthood. The moft . 
3 powerful 

Ancie'ni' CThivaliiy. 265^ 

powerful mbriirchs thought they could 
not infpiretheir' children with too much' 
refpcdt, or .mark too high an "cftccTO"^ 
thcmfelves, ' for an order, t© which the* 
throne owed its -chief luftsre* nor would ^ 
they ever be. crowned witHl)ut having 
received knighthood them^lvesr. •— A • 
qbeefi ^fays Percifbreft) though very weak - 
after ficknefsi would go out, even with 
great- rifle of lier -health, to meet a brave - 
but poor knight, who was Cdmtf to pay > 
heravifit.- The poor knight exprefled * 
to her the corifufiori into..wthich he was ' 
throvvn by this cxeefs^ ' of courtefy frbin 
fo gr^at a -princefe : to whieh-^ re^- 
plied, " To received poor 'kftiglrt with the • 
fame franknefs amd love as a rich one, is ' 
honour and delighf /'—Robert, -the fecond - 
dake of Burgundy, prince of the blood,' 
and iirft rjieer of France, quisdified him« 
felf with the auguft title of knight, in his^ 
letters, 1272 :'and^ in the feteers of M. ' 
Racine^ it appears thjit, in^the lafl: 'ceh«* ' 
tury, the Iprds pf the coi^rt teftified thtir * 


266- M.E M O r.R'9. ,-o F 

veaeration fpr even the inifig^ ^tad Hhs^dow 
of aacie^t Chi?^lry, in the persons, tifthfi- 
p^cere pf juilicef.whQ-h^Da^y the mmt, ■ 
wpLc^is^ the J^leyefitt, ^eiiig attired, and 
o{i th^ p9i9t of («(:«ivia^- cocpnatkoi, %6 
Monftisjlef. 4l«w his- fword, «nd gave it 
t9 duke Pfcili^.jef 5ur;g«n%, praying )»im 
to wajt© h*n«a ^SPi^ti.MfhI^ph.w^^s %j^gm 
tbing.-} Jar it w«? eoipsftoftljr fiid^ ib^t all 
the (ians §f ibe iiings. of FraotfP we?^ 

Icoi^^ «(: tfalB font^ of l)t^|ili« i IMVefq 

thpte^ ^ dufctfe ip obpdielipe to ^ oi-- , 
dvFSpf tfWMj..gVW,him t)!» 4uhbiiig ap4 
eq»]j!i^«^ ««)d ixij^e hiok. a Ibnight wi^ 
hi» ow^ ^aA^^t . Ch^lefi the Seventh wa9 
al^0 \k^, iftHs^ by th9 W^^ of , tb$ . 
dtt^eof AI«Pi9^i>i and Chirks the Sixth, 
bj the v(«|lfit» 4f^t of AHjou* Thru laft 
nvHwrt!hfa{iil\e»^y ihewjvhis afiefliiOB for 
Cbiyalry -, >(»hefi ^Making his latter, whq: 
vviihed tp pionie.hif diffio^tioBi ca^fed' a 
cr.(t^n of goidi ear ichedi with dianvmdsv - 
an4<ft^h$l>txetw to be fet befbire him for hi% 
ch^ifH :> « Site (/iud. die. ysuo^ prinee, . 


Wiikly) givetne «h9 hclioelu. jsmd, .keep; 
you your ctowr/' — Tp eoropleat the:: 
glory of this or4eri when they related tbs 
4»th of aay^ QjBgle kcighti %l^ey made, 
ufe of the i^Q^ tpjrin^ of hoqour in fpe^k^^ 
ID^ of himi an4 ib^ numher of-liis years^: 
as it m^ th<^ cv^^ffd to do^ i(i:fefpe<3: of 
cjTPW^ed h«a4Sf 

If a knight .was richi and fK>werfulr 
enough to furaifh the ftafe with ^ cer- . 
tain number cf arme4 men» ^d to «n-- 
tprtam them at his own exrpeiKe^ they* 
granted him t^ip permiilioa of adding to 
the fimple title o£ Knight^ or Knight Bat^* 
chelor^ the a|ore noble and ej^ajtcd titlr 
of Knight Ba?jineret. This gave them 
the diftindi<w of carrying a fquarie bdn-^ : 
ncr at the top of. their Imo^; whereas that, 
of a fimple knight was extended in two 
cornets oi* poiixt3» as the f^g^ iet up in 
Fnmce, ;oa the feftivals of the church: 
and beiides his avm ihieldi the banneret . 
had the ufe of maay ihields of other 
knights for his. 4e£9nce. The fame cere- 
9 monies 

268 -'■ M EM 6 I RS' OF 

mcnies were ufed at hii being made a 
l>anneret, as at the inftitution of barons, 
vifcouhts; catonts> marqaifles^ and dukes ; 
and they claimed of right- the -fame rank 
that was exprcfled (m their coats of arms, 
helmets, crefts^, caps, terifes, labels, fup- 
porters,^ gifdleS, coronets, and fhields* 
Moft of thefe pieces, origirtaJty worn> in^ 
the public ceremonies, by thofe to whom 
they belonged j made a pirt of their head 
armour and habiliments. -Even their dwel- 
lings, agreeable to the fpirit of the age, ' 
had battlements and towers, ferving both 
fbr the -defence 6f their caftlcsi and to mark* 
the nobility of their owners. But a Gen- 
tleman, the titl6 giv6n to one who was ^ 
nobly tkfcended, had alone the priviliege 
of exprefling ori his flag, or <if blazoning 
the atchieyements of his houife. 

The banners of the knights in the 
battles, and the ftreamers they held in 
their hands when they entered the lifts, 
and with which they made the fign of the 
crofs before they begun the joufts {and 


which they fometiihes fixed a^warda-^ 
the top of their cafqaes) probably gave 
f. rife- to the vanes placed Ttt the tops 9f 
houfes. In the enterprijte of Sainty^, 
^ himfelf and his companions wore on their 
. helmets two hanners^ between which was 
a diamond^ deftined to be the reward of 
thofe who might prove their vigors. 
Saintre having alfo propofed a Pas d' Armes 
to the Engliih, between Gravelines and 
Calais^ which was accepted by the count 
of Bouquincan and his companions,^--on 
the Sunday, the firft day of the montb> 
^ and entrance on this exploit^ arrived the 
faid lord and count of Bouquincan, in the 
• morning, after faying of mafs, and a brave 
company with him, who had placed oji 
.the higheft wing of the boufe his banner, 
^which he brought frpm England, bor.- 
dered with filver ; and commanded that 
they fhould cry aloud, '' England! Saint 
. Georgel "-^The infides of their houfcs were 
^ftill more diilinguifhed by the variety q£ 
ornaments which adorned their furiuture^ 


2fb IMTBAfotl^ar of 

-*hd vrlncli denoted thefr iank ; ti tlfe 
Ibrm of the noble fignalft oiv the top* 
Wherher in ^ fhape of pcftnons or Ban-* 
lifcrsi indicated that it VfViS vl knight,' of 
knight banftcret^ to whom ttey belonged* 
The rendering due hotouraf^ to all, ao 
ccxrding tatheit ranke> Was obfenred with 
thrmoft cxaCl reguferity inevtry affembly 
of the nobles ; and the impoffibility (but 
from command of royalty on any fingulaf 
occafion) to hold any other place, extiii- 
guiflied all that diforderlyambition, whichj 
eonfounding* thcfe juft rules, introduces 
thofe into honour, who have only riches, 
and ndther merit nor fervices to fupport 
their exaltation; — On 'the wedding of 
Charles the Seventh, Madame de Namur 
was feated at dinner below all- the count** 
cfles except one: in themidft of the diri*» 
ner the king came where {he ilt, and faid 
to her, ** Madam; you have been featcH 
as wife of the count of Namur i but the 
Remainder of this dinner you mirft lit 
as my cotrfin-gcrman.'* She wa^* then 


brought up to the table of fhe queee^ 
aad after grace was Aid, Qxc rofivcaal 
into faer own place. The ikid Madame 
de NaxiKur (adds the coiuxttfs of Poiticn) 
reljttod ta me^ that never before, at any 
king's marriage^ were fo many princea or 
noble dames afi on that day ^ and all tile 
kdie^ dined in the hall where the king 
diaed, but no man was allowed to fit 
down there. Madame my nuM&er alib 
tbld me (adds the counted) ihe had>heai<d 
Mademe de Naxnur fay,, iliat when Moa- 
fieur the duke Philip married Madame 
MichelU his firft wi£e^ who was daughter 
of the king of France, Monfieur dufce 
Joho, the father -of duke. Philip, would 
always ferve the fweetmeats and. fpiced 
wines to her, but flie would not fuffer it; 
neverthelefs he always knelt before her, 
called her Madame^ and ihe called him 
Fatber.-^Whea the duchefs Ifafaella of 
Portugal came to the king and qucoi of 
France, to ijpend (even weeks, (be never 
dined with either of themj bat Msidame 


the daapliihefs came often to the apart-' 
. ments of Madame the duchefs, and Q:zyed 
with her two or three days* My mother, 
who was prefent, obfcrved, they ferrcd 
Madame the dauphinefs under coyer, as 
was the cuftom to do to perfons of the 
highefl rank i the difhes, the fait, the 
pepper, the fpices, and fweetmeats, all 
were covered ; and when the dauphinefs 
had waihed with two bafons, they brought 
the duchefs a fingle bafon, and ewer, and 
a napkin> who having ufed it gave it to 
the fquire who carved ; and when (he rofc 
from tablc^ (he knelt down at the feet 
'of the dauphinefs, and in all- things 
(hewed as great honour to her as to the 

Ik a manufcript^ intitled The Honours 
of the Court, thefe different degrees of 
honour, and the fplendid ornaments whidi 
adorned the rooms and beds of ftate, ih 
the houfe of the duke of Burgundy,— (ide- 
boards, tables, and cupboards,-*— are mi- 

AliCliNT ChIVALRV; i^j 

ftutely gi veil . They were charged with vef- 
fels of cryftalj ornamented with gold and 
precious itones j cups and pTbts^ plates and 
difhes/ of pure gold ; bafons and comfit- 
boxesi of gold and precious ftones : a pair 
of the latter, belonging to duke Philip of 
Burgundy, were valued at feventy thou-^ 
farid crowns, and were always on the fide- 
boards covered with napkins, as were the 
reft of the mafly and valuable ornaments. 
The moil magnificent fideboards were in 
four divifions or degrees, afcending one 
above the other ; each degree covered with 
fine napkins* Afthe top of this of the 
duke of Burgundy, was a cloth of gold 
and crimfon, bordered with black velvet ; 
and on the black vctvet vras worked the 
device of my lord the duke of Burgundy ^ 
which device was a fufil. This cloth was 
formed as a teiler df a bed 3 but the top 
part was only a quarter, or at the moft 
half a yard wide, with cornices and fringe^ 
as at the top of the beds of ftate. And the 
cloth of gold, behind the fideboard tabled 
^ • T hunf 

274 Memoirs op 

hung down from the top- to the bottom^ 
at each fide ornamented a quarter deep with 
a border, which was alfo on the top, and 
was of a different colour - from the reft. 
Two ftate beds, in the houfes of princes 
and thofe of royal blood, were placed un-- 
der one teller, with a paifage five feet 
wide between each. At the end of the 
paflage, next the bolder of each bed, was 
a great chair with a high back : a couch^ 
was alfo before the fire, which ran on 
rollers, if need were, under the beds of 
ftate. A curtain of demi-fattin went 
round the two beds at top, but did not ex- 
tend to the bottom or feet curtains; nor did 
thefe join each other by near the diftance of 
the faid paflage. The fringes and fattin, in 
royal houfes, were green. The three curtains 
at top and bottom ran on rings, and could 
be drawn together and undrawn at will ^ 
fo that the paflage between the two beds 
was not difcerned. In the middle of the 
two ftate beds, was a curtain of the fame 
kind, tied up to the top, and fattened at 


Ancien'T CHivAtRY. zy^ 

the bottom above the chair; and this cur- 
tain was never drawn. There were the 
fame curtains to the little bed, or couch, 
round a fquare pavilion of the fize of the 
bed. The chambers of princes were hung 
with green filk at top, and at bottom with 
tapeftry to the door. The beds, great and 
imall, were covered with fpotted ermine i 
and the infide was of fine violet-coloured 
plufh, which, when put on the bed, hung 
down Oil the ground a yard and a half 
deep. Above thefe coverings was a ftarched 
crape, which trained longer Hill ; and the 
beds were all turned down ; but the erniinc 
covers went fo high, that the (heets were 
not to be feen, except at the bolfter, which 
was alfo covered with crape, Each'bed had 
a pillow on the bolfter, three quarters 
long, and two quarters wide. The chair 
between the beds was covered from top 
to bottom with cloth of gold and crim- 
fbn, and had a cufhion of the fame. In 
this chamber of the duke of Burgundy^ 
was alfo a fideboard (as has beeii de*- 
T 2 fcribed) 

ajfd M E Mt O-I R $ OF* 

fcribed) and on it two great candlefllicScs 
of filver, witK wax-lights always burning* ^ 
and a tabk^ near the fideboard in a corncr> 
to receive the pots and cups, in which drink 
tjras given to the royal guefts^ who came 
to fee the daughter of duke Philip> in her 
lying4n» after they had been ferved witlk 
the com6it-box, which wa& then replaced 
da the iideboard* 

T»E room, for tjie infant (afterwards 
duchpfs of Ai^ftria) had^ in the lame man- 
ner,, two great beds } and the cradle m 
which (hp lay was before the fire; but 
there was no couch» There was a pavilion 
round the cradle ; the coverings of the 
cradle were as of the great beds, and 
trained 0131 the floor. In the entrance, or 
ftate-chamber, to thefe rooms, was only 
onp bed, with crimfon^fattin ; the covering 
the. fame ^ and at the top, on each cornice, 
was a great fun, embroidered with fine 
goldi in tapeftry, given by the people 
of Utrecht to duke Philip* The Iwng- 
^ '.'.. - ing 

Ancient ChivALry. 477 

log t>f the outward ftate^room was red 
filk; thp curtains crimfon^ ibme tied 
Yip:' the bed made^ not as to fleep iu^ 
Mth. a crimfon pillofw^ At theend of the 
rooffl^ £ar away fnxa the bed» was a £de^ 
bMird table» of three degrees^ very high and 
wide, all covered with great ilaggons and 
potSy and ve&ls of filver gilt with gold^ 
cups^ and coffifit-^boices ; each degree and 
all round covered with fine napkin^/ At 
the liftad of the b«d was a little chair^ co'- 
vered with velvety and on it a cushion bf 
gold cldth« ' 

. AckEEAfiLE to thefe particulars, givei 
by the countefs of Poitiers,' was "the eti*» 
quette obferved in cvcn^ -thing among the 
poblesi ; and with l-efpei^ to fubcrdinate 
fituations, there were the moil exad: regu«- 
latioiis, fuited to eath. The fnquent oc-* 
cafions, in thefe ages, of aflembling a vaft 
number of perfons of all conditions; 
called for the moft exad ptin^ality in 
the arrangement of them. At the tour* 
T 3 naments 


278 Memoirs of 

noments and proofs of combat^ or lift 
fights, places were appointed for the lord 
of thfc feftival, the marfhal, the nobles^ 
and counfellors ; for the ftrangers of rank» 
according tQ their degree ; for the citizens, 
merchants, and gentry.— When, in the 
fourteenth century^ the prerogatives pf the 
jiobles began tq be ufurpfld. by thq in^ 
creafe of riphes to indiyiii«als, the juft 
regul{itiops, that before tQo|(: place, becfune 
lefs attended to, and nxqch inconvenience 
wofe from it to foci<;ty, . Enftachc Def- 
champs cenfures this alicnatign of ranl| 
and honour from the juft pofleflbrs, who, 
by education, or merit of fervice, had^alone 
obtained it. ** In my time (fays he) whed 
they went into the church, to make offers 
ing and to kifs the Pax, dame went firft; 
then demoifelle, burgefies and wives came 
after. But now, alack, is grief and 
woe ! riches fwelled with pride ; pitiful 
trickfter, caitif vile, thrufls into place 
with open ihame, before a man of h;gh 


Ancient Chivalry. 279 

In Chivalry, where the form of go- 
vernment was military, individuals often 
acquired great riches by booty, and ran- 
foms in war, which were diftributed ufu- 
ally after the engagements. Gold, filver, 
horfes, palfreys, and mules, were divided 
among the knights ; other prizes were 
given to the fquires, and inferior atten- 
dants : which caufed the romancers, who 
gave the piAure of thefe times, to obferve 
often, that knights took neither cows nor 
fheep. A prifoner's ranfom was com- 
monly a year's revenue,^ conformable 
to the right of redemption' of noble 
lands. A knight, who by merit had 
gained himfelf a name, was paid court 
to by the greateft lords and ladies ; 
nay, even princes, princeffcs, kings, 
' and queens', prefled forward to ferve and 
enroll him, as it were, in the rank of their 
hereditary defcent, and to infcribe him in 
the lift of heroes, who had been the orna- 
ment and fupport of their houfe, under 
the title of Knight of Honour. Montluc, 
T 4 in 

2.8(3 MRMQIRf Of 

ia the year 15551 oientfons thf depend* 
apce he ha4 Q^ taking a young Roman 
aobleijian, fo rfch, tl;iat he poflcfled four-r 
fcor? thon6.nd crown? of annual nut. 
^^ 4 year's revenue (adds he) \s my juft 
claiqi/' Qfiicer^j^ made prifoners^ paid 
thfi hajf pf thpir falary,-r?The piagnifi- 
cenpe pf prinqea and nobles confifted^ in 
jgreat prt^ \n the multitude of knights, 
continually, furrounding their perfons. 
^' Handibm«| wjfe, and well preparc4 
(fays pHftafihe Pefchamps) l^ved the 
lord, from morn tp night, in. a caflle 
large and fine, with who)efome air, an4 
choice delight^ ; Y^i^nt knights attend- 
ed hinj, when he wpnt apd when he 
eanic, obeyed his wilU and ftrved hi^ 
guefls/' Po{fibly-he pieapt the knight§ 
of honour,, or body knights, who always 
attended the perfon of their lord. Wq 
read, in Pcrceforefti^ that a great num-r 
ber of lords and gentleme^i had cauf64 
helmets to be placed over the doors of 
f heir cadles^^ to ferve as a fjgn4 tp. thf 
, . ^ knights 


IfJitgHts who QfiovAi p9& by» mi la^noiinw 
to them thit thfij {t»uld ikw^» £«! A 
welcome: feeepti6ri in a fapi|&^ wliofe toafvf 
ter woa}4 cgn^iler faicoi'df aa hwcMiiied ia 
receiving fach gii«A:s« Some of ike& htim 
inets are yet to be f^efi on th^ aocieht edU 
ijei^ io France, particularly^counw 
trys aiwJ knights were not only mo& 
cQurteoufly received, and treated withjeisecjr 
piark of cpnfideratioh by theie j^cnerbui 
lipblesy but they and their train had trcrf 
.expence defrayed^ and, when they' went 
away, were loaded with prefents. 

,. Perceforest fpeaks of this cuftoni faea 
ing ufed in England. ♦* Then it wa^, 
(hat in Great Britain charity of mahneri 
reigned in all ; qpble dames and gentle 
knights placed on the top of their cafties 
an helmet, as a fign that all good knighti 
and worthy ladies, travelling that way, 
ihoul4 enter as freely into their caftle, as 
if it were their own. The prefebts made 
were arms, coftly robes, borfes, and evem 

money ; 


iZ% Memoirs OF * 

money ; to knights double the fum given 
to the fquires; as alfo to bannerets as 
much again . as to knights batchelors r 
and this proportion was obferved in the 
£une cafes among the heralds, minilrels, 
&c. The greatcft lords accepted, with- 
out any fcruple, this fort, of liberality; 
not coniidering it fp much a perfonal gift, 
as die aifociating them in the enterprises 
and glory of knighthood. But the cour- 
tefy they learned in thefe caftles was above 
all riches : no fpirit of diicord or peevifh- 
nefs was ever allowed in thefe knights to 
one another; their manners difplayed 
tvery kind of friendship and good-will/' 
Joinville fays, that he difmilTed one of his 
knights, who had ftruck his comrade; 
which (hews what was the authority of the 
lord over his knights, and their dependence 
on him who conmianded them« Sometimes 
a knight was in the fervicc of feveral courts, 
as was feen in the palace of prince Edward 
of England,— -Biihops alfo, as perfons of 
rank, hadknights attached to themt— Pe- 


An'cixnt- Chivalry. aSj 

ter de Bloi&» writing to two of his friends 
who were attached to the bifhop of Char- 
ties, exhorts them- to reprefent often to 
that prelate^ how far he had wandered 
frbtn his duty ; above all^ in the abufe he 
made of his riches, in fquandering them 
ovk- buffoons ; and recommends earneftly 
to them, to infpire him with a love of 
merit.— •The prefent given by the duke of 
'Anjott to the duke of Bourbon, Lewis, the 
third of that nanoe, who had aiiifted hini 
in the war of Guienne, confided of thirty 
thoufand gold franks, and was looked 
upon as the fubiidy of a prince to his 
ally. The duke of Anjou paid the at- 
tendants of the duke of Bourbon for a 
month, and made rich prefejits to the 
knights who accompanied him, of .veflels 
of filver and filk fluffs ; and one of them 
received a fleed, valued at two thoufand 
crowns. The coiint De Foix gave to the 
brother of Boucicaut, who came to fee 
him, after much good cheer and enter- 
tainment, two hundred florins^ and a fiae 


sed palfrey. Thelitbei^iities pftiif 0>i«nt 
de Foix wereib^teat^ that a deicriptton 
of them, 06 givea bjr FroifTart^ would ^^ 
moft be endlefs. His reception of the duJc^ 
of Bourbon wa$ magnificent; feaiis. the 
moft fub^rb; mules^ ptSif^ys^ courlfers^ 
and money^ were prefeiited to hiHiji tbe 
latter Was refund by the duke, the tthcr 
prefents ret^Hod.: the fquircs alone re^ 
cdyed prefqnts' in fIorin<« . A fpirit iff 
liatural ardpur and equity, reigned, in the 
diftin,<3io<iis of all thefe things.r-^Ferhaps 
thefe principles of diftributive juflice w^e 
djefivcd froiji the Romans, ot from the 
prpportipft obfcrved in. the Salique Law, 
with rcfpei^ to the amercements and gifts 
of perfons, according to their different 
clafTes, .i 

; In the hiftory of Lewis the Third, duke 
pf Bourbon, \«t read, '* The day of kings 
came, in which the duke made gre^t 
feafts and entertainments ; and/earched out 
for the poc^xft child. in all the city,. of 


whoift to daake a king'- ite ^W caufeS 
die child ete£t«d to ht'dreffeA m a rdyal 
robe, ^vte him officers as governors, and 
the next day invited hiih to dirie at his 
own taWe of honour. After dinner came 
his maitre d' hotel, who gathered for die 
poor king ; to whom Lewis gave forty 
livres to put him to fchool, the knights 
of his court a frank, and the fq^uires half 
a frank ; fo that the fum often mounted up 
to d hundired franks ; which they gave to 
the father or mother of thofe poor chil- 
dren, who were thus made kings in turn, 
and plentifully fed, that they might be 
taught at fchool, and become worthy of 
honour. Thus did the valiant Lewis of 
Bourbon, for the love and reverence of 
God ; and kept up this noble cuilom to the 
laft year of his life/- 

The magnifictnt rewards beftowed in 
Chivalry on- the knights, were the origin 
of fcveral lordiDbips arid fiefs ; andrnor only 
enrlthed, but* ndfed" theft warrior* from 

286 M E M 6 I » S O F» 

tn obfcure eftite to the higheft honouh^^ 
** Clignct of Brabant (fays the Monk of 
St» Denys) was made admiral, though he 
poflefTed no right- to it from his rank^ 
nor from the valour of his anceftors ; and 
he married the countefs of Blois, which 
laifed him from a ftate of miferable indi- 
gence to eafe and fplendour." 

All the writings of the romancers 
were filled with precepts to the great, in 
favour of indigent knights; bcfceching 
the former to confider their virtues, to 
fupply their wants, and raife them to the 
rank they merited. A caftle, or a yearly 
fum, was frequently conferred on a new- 
jnade knight; who became the vaflal of 
his patron, and often ferved him and 
his knights at table... 

. ♦* When the king of England (fays 
Freifl&rt) had paffed the river of Efcaut, 
and fct foot on the kingdom of France, 
he called Henry of Flanders to him, his 
10 yo«nfi 

Ancient Chivalry. a8/ 

young page^ made him a knight^ and gave 
him two hundred livres fterling of reve« 
nue each year : he alfo affigned him a Tuf- 
ficiency and wealth in England/' 

The tournaments, which often ruined 
the great lords by the exceflive expence 
attending them» became a fource of riches 
for poor knights. In the diftreffes of an 
urgent war, there were no bounds to the 
liberality of the prince, in his rewards to 
the knights who had (hewn valour in his 
fervice ; and if brave, a knight who was 
difengaged from any immediate fervice, 
might be faid to put fovereigns to con- 
tribution : alfo, in duels that were fought 
in the caufe of a powerful lord or lady, no 
favour was deemed fufficient, fometimes 
not even the participation of their whole 
fortune, to reward the champion who had 
fuilained their honours, recovered their 
lands, or obtained revenge of their ad- 


]|89 M« M o I A « of 

* In the affiult made on Pontoifc, tiy 
Charles the Sixth, in 1441, bcfides- con-^ 
ferrin^ the honour of knighthood^ he 
ennobled the firft knight who mounted 
the tower of Frife, and for his valour 
extended the honour to his poftcrity; and 
gave him rich gifts to maintain the rank 
to which he had raifed him. Edwardv 
prince of Wales, after the vidiory he gain-i 
cd at Poitiers, gave five hundred marks of 
yearly revenue to James Endelee, who had 
diftihgviifhed himfelf in this aftion ; and 
retained him as his own knight. As the 
latter immediately divided this gift among 
four of his body fquires, who had never, 
quitted his fide during the battle, — the 
prince of Wales, being informed of it, 
^ave him fix hundred marks more. Thfeft 
generous adions are to be noted iii many 
otfccr princes. 

A KNTGrf*r alfo, who rendered hmifelf 
the fuperior of a rich lord by fkdll id 
^cmbat, fet what price he pleafed on the 


Ancient Chivalry. 289 

liberty of the vanquifticd. " A fquirc 
of Picardy (fays Froiffart) purfued by an 
Englifli knight banneret at the defeat of 
Poitiers, having forced him to furrcn- 
der, made him^ in the end, pay fix thou- 
fand nobles; and thu^, from a poor fquirc, 
:he became a great and wealthy knight.'* 
And many, after they killed their advcr- 
faries, obliged their parents and friends to 
purchafe, at a high price, the mangled 
and bloody bodies, and the fpoils left in 
pofiefiion of the vidor. At a fally made 
at the fiege of Rouen, in 141 8, the bodies 
of the killed were redeemed at four hun-^ 
dred nobles. Some knights, however, 
afed their victories with more moderation, 
agreeable to the original precepts of Chi- 
valry; or, if they did not, their chiefs 
made memorable examples of them for 
their Inhumanity. 

History has prcferved the nobla 

fpeech of the duke of Lancafler, when 

he baniihcd for ever from his court a 

U diOayal 

290 MEM6IR8 OF 

difloyal knight^ whofe arms and horie fac 
abandoned to Du Guefclin, and whom he 
maided at a thoufand liTres : ^^ I have 
no pleafufe (faid the duke) in people who 
are guiltj of treafon^ nor are we accuf^ 
tomed to fuch in ourcountry ;— the garden 
of war is fraitfal of game^ but not opeli 
to bcafts of prey.'* 

It was from thefe heroic principles?, 
that a young lady, left a rich heirefs with* 
out protedtorsy— or a widow, with ex- 
ten five lands fallen to her poffeflion,— 
would call to her fuccour Come knight of 
known valour and worth ; and confide 
to him, with the title of Vifcoont or 
Caflellan> the guardianship of her caftle 
and her fiefs, and the command of her 
ibldiers maintained for their defence ; of 
which obligations (he would fometimes 
acquit herfelf, by rewarding with her 
hand the kmght who had faithfully ferved 


• : Froissart 

An-cIeUt? CnlVAtRY* 291 

FroissaUT fay8> in relating the amours 
bf Euftache d* Aubefticourt with Madame 
Ifabella de Juliers> '^ She often fcnt him 
horfes> for a reward Of his valour^ and at 
laA: crowned the faithful exploits of this 
her fervant by giving him her haiid in 
marriage*" 8uicb marriages Were generally 
con traded from the Advice^ and under the 
fevour of forereigftfii born the proteftor^^ 
of the noble orphans and widdws of their 
ftates: in conciliating the interefts of 
both^ they fulfilled at the fame time the 
ofBce of royal guardian^^ and generous re^ 
warders of the brave knights in their 
court I and ftbm this noble attention the 
mtift powerful hoUfes in France date thei# 
origin^ and acquired the immen^ie revenue* 
they poflefs« Befides the brilliant for- 
tune of Clignet de Brabant> which he 
owed in part to the favour of the duke of 
Orleans^ hiftofy furnifiiefe feveral ei^am^ 
pies of warrior*, who, eVen in the flowei* 
of youth, commanded the greateft armies,^ 
and performed the higheft enterprises, of 
U 2 thofe 

z^z Memoirs or 

thofe times. Boucicaut; at the age of 
twenty-five, was marechal of France ^ 
and Loais de la Trempuille^ the knight 
without reproach, was only twenty-eight 
when he was invefted with; the dignity 
of lieutenabtrgefieral to the king of 
France ;. a r^nk fuperior to that of the 
marechals ' of France. He gained the 
battle of St. Aubin de Connier, and. made 
the duke of Orleans prifoner:— To em- 
ploy thus early young men, born with 
the genius and talents. for war, was, as it 
were, to multiply valiant officers'; for one 
fuch able general, by purfuing his full 
career, did more than a:iany officers ia 
fucceffipli could poUibly have performed* 
From buying remained at the head of his 
araopiee, fbr i, length of time, he had ac** 
4|aired the cpn^dence of bis foldiers ; and 
by his firfl: atphiey^ment^ had infpired 
them wjth hj^gh r^fped for his valour and 
IkilK Iferhad likewile learnt to profit 
(rom experience in .the condud of the 
fiyai ci* -.ww; hehad cpnceiyed ; and the 

Ancisnt .CkivAljiy. 293 

iyftcm of military diicipline he hadformed^ 
becoming lefs expc^ed to alterations, could 
be more furdy executed and brought to 
entire perfedion* 

From the view of Chivalry, in the 
life of the knight, and the honours it 
conferred on worth, we muft depart for 
a moment, and, before we proceed to the 
clofing icene of his death, fubmit to the 
painful view of that degradation, which 
thofe who fullied the eclat of knighthood 
were doomed to undergo ; and in which 
may be remarked many features fimilar to 
the punifbments infiiftred by the prelates 
of the church. The knight, who was 
juridically condemned for his crimes, was 
inftantly led to a fcaiFold, where they 
dafhed in pieces before him all his diffe- 
rent pieces of armour, and his arms j his 
fbicld, from which they had razed his 
coat of arms, wals fufpended at the tail of 
a mare ; it was turned upiide down, and 
dragged ignominioufly through the dirt : 
U 3 its 

994 Mkmoiri or 

its being invertedi was t mark that the 

pcrfon to whom it belonged wa» dead » 

for every knight diihc^notired by trca^ 

chery, by indolence, or any ignoble coa« 

duft, was confidcred as a dead body, ftrip- 

ped of all feeling and fentiment. Kings, 

jieralds, and purfuivants at arms were 

employed in pronouncing againfl the ci}l« 

prit the atrocious injuries he had been 

guilty of; and the pricfts were alfo fum«i> 

moned, who, after having recited the 

prayers for the dead, pronounced over 

his head the hundred and ninth Pfalm i 

in which are feveral maledidions agftinft 

traitors. Three times the king or the 

herald at arms demanded the name of the 

criminal ; a^d each time the purfuivants 

at arms xefounded hi$ name. The he* 

fald replied, Uat was npt the name of 

him who ftopd before thetfi, fince he ww 

difloyal and a traitor. Then taking ffom 

the hands of the fame purfuivants a ba^ 

' fon filled with hot water, he poured it 

with indignation on the hwd of the unr 


ANerENT CmiTALRY. 295 

worthy knight, to efFace for ever the fa- 
cred character that had been conferred on 
him. The. wretched knight was then 
dragged to the bottom of the fcaifold by 
a cord paiSbd tinder his arms, and put oti 
a hurdle or hand-barrow, covered with a 
pall ; after which he was carried to the 
church, where the fame prayers and cere- 
monies were faid over him as over the 
dead. Nothing certainly could be more 
horrible*-*not even the afpeft of the moil: 
dreadful death«*«*to a knight in whom the 
fmalleft fpark of ientiment remained ; and 
the idea of fuch an ignominy was fuffi- 
cient to retain the weakeil-minded foul in 
the difcharge of his duty, if higher views 
could not infpire him with a more perfect 
virtue.— Tacitus gives a fimilar account 
of the Germans. They hung up traitors 
ttnd deferters on trees; cowards, and others 
guilty of notorious crimes, ware thrown 
into ditches and mar(hes, and' covered 
with mild; to denote that common crimes 
U 4 ihould 

2g6 Mbmoi&s or 

Apuld be expofed for exafnple» infamous 
oaes buried in oblivion. 

At the fiege of Montcontour, Du Gurf- 
clin having engaged to pay an Engliffi- 
tnan a certain fum of money for the ran- 
fom of one of his foldiers, by an obliga- 
tion fealed with his ovirn feal, to be dis- 
charged from the revenue of his lands ; 
this Engliihman, not receiving the money, 
through the negledl of Du Guefclin, who 
in the hurry of his affairs had forgotten 
his engagement, caufed the arms of Du 
Guefclin to be painted, digged through 
the mud, and hung up bottom upwards, 
to denote that Du Guefclin was perjured. 
The city was taken, and the Englifliman 
-was dragged, in his turn, and hung up 
in the fame place in which he had hung 
up the fliield of Du Guefclin. The latter 
agreed that his creditor had a juft right 
to feize his lands, and diftrain his goods, 
after the expiration of the term fixed for 
payment ; but not to infult him as he had 


Ancient *Chivalry. 297 

4doAd. This was however a penalty to 
which the knights oblig^ themfelves 
to fubmit in the contrading fuch engage- ' 

In fqme p^ticular cafes, where pro- 
mises, held ever inviolable, were not 
broken,— !-or where cowardice was not con- 
cerned, which by the French, as well as 
the Germans, was confidered as the moft 
ignoble of all vices,— the culprit was 
allowed to expiate his crime by adlions 
that might be capable of healing his 
wounded honour : and this was a policy 
full of humanity, and moft ikilfully and 
wifely employed by the marechal de 
Turenne, who by this means drew An- 
gular advantages to himfelf, and to the 
ftatc he ferved, even from the errors -com- 
mitted. For crimes that we#e lefs atroci- 
ous, but ftill diftionourablc, the knight 
offending was excluded from* the table of 
the other knights ^ and if he dared to 
place himfdf there, -eaqh • of them had a 


t^i Memoiki op 

right to come nod cut off the table-dot)^ 
from before lum. 

There is fome allaiion to this in aa 
anecdote given by Joinville. The knights 
liad been ill treated by the hafpitaihrs : 
Joinville demanded jufticc of the maftcr^ 
vfho confented to give him fatisfad:ion : 
it confifted in, finding the authors of the 
putrage when they ihould be fat down on 
their cloaks to eat» that the offended 
knights might come and take their cloaks 
away. When Joinville and his men 
prefentcd themfelves, to execute the con- 
ditions agreed on, and make the brother 
hofpitalers rife from off their cIoak$> — on 
their refuiing to do fo, the knights did 
thcmfplves juftice by taking their places 
to eat with them ; which obliged thehof* 
pitalers to retire to another teble, ^nd 
leave them in ppi&iiion of their cloaks^ 
ft is vk1\ known that no juilice is more 
feverely executed . than that ^yhich peofd^ 
»{ the famp conditioQ exercife on. one 

another 5 

Ancient Chivalry. 29$ 

another; ibr then ibc common intereft 
becomes the intereft of each individual* . 

It is to be obferved, Ukewife^ that 

if a kni^U banifhed froni the table 

of the other knights, had recourfe to 

that of the fquires, he would have ex- 

pofed hirafelf to the fame affront from 

this inferior order« " A knight/' fays 

Lancelot de Lac, ^* who was coniidered 

as a criminal, becaufe he had been feea 

in a cart, arrived at the court of king 

Artus, and went to the table of the 

knights ; but not one would permit him 

to take place with them. Refuied through 

every row, he repaired to that of the 

fquires ; but was drove out of doors with 

ignominy, and obliged to fpread his table*- 

cloth on the bare earth." Bertrand du 

Guefclin was the reftorer of this ancient 

regulation, to pre&rve in his command, as 

conftable, the tme difcipline of ancient 

Chivalry, too much relaxed in his time. 


300 Memolrsof 

Havinq thus condodcd the kmgh/t 
from, his childhood through the courfb of 
his life^ declared his prowefs^ tecorded 
hfts fame^^-^there remains only to fpeak of 
his lafk hours, and the honours ibewa 
him at the obfequies of his funeral. 
Whctt nature, vigoroufly exerted for 
many years, became exhaufted, and the 
knight was no longer capable of the toils 
he had undergone, he firil retired from 
jlhe tournaments, as the leafl necc&ry of 
Ins arduous undertakings.-?—'* At the 
joufts," fays the hiftorian of Lewis the 
Twelfth, ** given in the piefcnce of aU 
jihc court at Paris,, in the ftroet of St. An- 
-tfopny^ there were jnany great feats per- 
formed f and among others the noble ac^ 
rions of my lord Clericux, the more 
£gnialized for his valour on this day^ as 
he was in : the decline • of life. In the 
coprfe of lances^ he brought to the earth 
« gentleman of Picardy p himfclf and horfc 
came .rolling: together, on the ground. 
This viftory gained, he caufed himfelf 
V. .. .II to 

Ancient CHXT;iiiiiY. 301 

to be ilifarmed ; repofbd between; trtro fim 
Iheets i and fent his helmet to a lady* at 
Paris^ praying her to keep it for hi^ fake; 
adding, that ibr his part, he had fini(hed 
the career of valour her beauty had in-* 
fpired; and that he would be^ foond in 
jouft ^nd tournament no more/' If living 
to the full age of man, it w^al with mor^ 
diificolty the. knight entirely forfook the 
profeffion of war ^ and it cWas: with griff 
he availed himfelf of the^ melancholy 
provifion for age the law had; acconied 

^ When Ae final ftroke of ifcath had 
iealed hi«; cye^ in darknefs, and for ever 
extingui&ed that ardour and prowefs for 
which the knight had rendered himfelf fo. 
redoubted, : the iittendants ^ put on his 
body his whole armour: and at the- 
funerals of barons, and knights of peculiar 
dignity^ they put on the bed of ftate^ 
which was borne in the pomp of the 
iiineral, a living man, armed from head 


%ot . Mm H o t K ^ or 

to foot» to reprefent the perfoa of the de* 

In the charges of the houft for tho 
cottdts of Poligriac^ it is recorded^ 

that in i^'^S^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ given fot 
having peffonated the dead koight, at th^ 
funeral of John, fbn of the Vifcount of 
Polignac.— 'The Englifh, in 1591 j at the 
fiege of Roueoy with Henry the Fourthi 
iicferved for the colonel of their infantry 
4 funeral pomp^ well worthy of ancient 
Chivalry ^ the fpirit of which was long 
preferved in that nation* As this brave 
Colonel, nephew of thb earl of Effex, wai 
killed in an ^tuck ^t the head of hia 
troops, the Engliih put his body in a 
leaden coffin, and kept it till their de-^ 
parture^ ^' We virill make . it enter tho 
city through a breach) if an occafion by 
aiiault prefents (fay "they),, that we ma/ 
tranfport our leader by the fame way he 
would have conduced us, if death had 
not flopped his courfe«" But obtaining 


Ancient Chivalry. 303 

not. the means of coo&l-riiig on their 
chief this honour^ they carried back his 
corpfe to England. 

^ Those who died after bating under* 
taken a crufade^ though they had not 
accomplifbed it» Were carried to the 
grave armed, their le^ crofled the one 
over the other : they were reprefrated on 
their tombs in the &me attitude, as is to 
be ieen in the cloifters of the ancient 
mobafteries of Praiice and Fiahdersi 9Ad 
in many other places. ^* Th0 body of 
my Lord Corneille, Baftard of Burgundy 
({ays Olivier de la Marcrhe) who was kil- 
led in the purfuit. of the Ghentois, was 
conveyed to Bru^ells, and the ducheft of 
Burgundy bad it honourably interred at 
St. Goule ; for ihc loved him right well 
for hk good virtues; and ordered that 
on his bier ihould be laid his banner, his 
fbndard, and his ^fiag. Toiibn D' Or, 
king at arms, iaid afterwards, that it be^ 
longed not to any ^ne, but him who died 

5 i« 

304 Memo. IRIS. OF 

in battle, to have thefe three enfigns of 
honour' at his fiinera) ; only one, or at 
moft two of them* 

Thus the glory of knights followed 
them to their tombs; and the fignal mark6 
which decorated their -bier, and were 
placed on their maufoleums, were Jtefti«- 
monials of gratitude, on the part of the 
nation, by whom they were decreed, to- 
wards the hero who had ib ably defended 
them. -For himfelf they remained an 
-immortal recompence of his labours 1 
for his family, an illuftrious honour, the 
brightnefs of which they were never 
to fully y and for Chivalry itfelf, an ani- 
mating example, exciting a noble ilame» 
to tread in the fame glorious paths, and 
merit the fame fplendid diftindions. 
The amiable chevalier Bayard had in 
view thefe honours, when he thus ad- 
drefTed himfelf to hi^ redoubted ifword, 
with which Francis the Firft had juft re* 
.ceived the dubbing at his hands : ^^ Thou \^ 


ANfciENT GniVAiiRV. 30^ 

art bleffed, O my fwbrd ! to have given 
fo great> fo excellent a king the order of 
Chivalry ! In truth, my good fword, thou 
ihalt be guarded as a relic^ and above 
all others famed and honoured." Having 
fpoken thus> he leapt twice in token of 
joy ; add then bowing low to and killing 
his fword, he replaced it in its fcabbard. 

As formerly the arms of Achilles excited 
the ambition of the Grecian chiefs, fo 
did the knights defire to pofTefs the wea^ 
pons, and above all the fwords, of their 
illuflrious predeceffors, to ufe them itt 
the day of battle^ hang them up' in their 
arfenals and tilting-rooms, as curious 
monuments of ancient Valour; or dedicate 
them in the churches, from motives of 
religion. The duke of Savoy fought, with 
the moft unwearied diligence, for the 
fword of the chevalier Bayard, to place 
it in his palace ; but not being able to 
obtain it, he put in the place thereof all 
his other maify arms, which he gained 
^ • X with 

3o6 McMOlKS of 

with infinite iiitreaty from Charles da 
Motety lord of Chichiliane> a brave and 
wife gentleman of Dauphine, who had 
kept them in the higheft prefervation. 
The duke wrote him a letter in very 
obliging terms, praying him to make him 
a prefent of thefe precious arms : ^' I will 
cherifib them in honour of Chivalry (adds 
he) and place them in the choiceft room 
of my palace ; and when I gaze with tranf-* 
port at thefe noble enfigns of valour, my 
joy will receive but one alloy, the refleft- 
ing they are now in the poiTei&on of one 
who is fo much lefs worthy of this in* 
eftimable treafure, than their firft kind 
preferver/' In the time of Charles the 
Seventh, in the great adverfities of France, 
it was thought neceflary, for its reftorar 
tion, to choofe one of thefe apcient fwords, 
with which to arm the Maid of Orleans. 

** In the church of St. Catharine dc 

Fierbois were found (fays Savaron) feveraii 

ancient fwords ;" among which was that 

2 famous 


famous fword, fo fatal to the Englifli^ 
faid to have been that of Charlemagne^ 
which drove them out of France^ ahd 
which was afterwards placed among the 
relics of the church of St. Denys* It 
was agreeable to the piety with which the 
knights entered into this facred * charac-^ 
ter> in their iirfl dedication at the altar, 
to place thefe weapons of honour in the 
churches, at the clofe of life. Thus de- 
voting to God, the only Author of true 
courage, and every virtue, the fWord they 
had employed in the defence of Religion^ 
and the good of the ftate« 


308- . M E M O I K S OF 


HA V I N G gone through the dc- 
fcription of Chivalry, of which 
there fubfifts only the vefti^s in the 
prefent orders of regulars or monks, it 
only remains to relate the inconveniencies 
and the abufes that arofe in this once no- 
ble inftitution, and which became a 
counterbalance to its advantages . and 

The ages in which Chivalry flourifhed, 
it will be faid by fome, were ages of bar- 
barity and horror, of public robbery, and 
private licentioufnefs ; and that thefe 
vices were found in the knights, who at 
that time were fet up as heroes. Peter 
de Blois, a fatirift of the twelfth cen- 
tury, fpcaks of their fumptuary horfes 


Ancient 'Chivalry. 309 

rbending under the load of utenfils aiid am- 
munitions for voluptuoufnefs : inflead of 
being, charged with the arms and baggage 
neceiTary to war^ they are^ in truth^ adds 
he, covered over withfbields, wh6re gold 
glitters on every fide 5 and jufl as (hining 
and as whole as they brought them arc 
they carried back. Their faddlfts, how- 
ever, and their helmets^ are adorned with 
pidures, which reprefent the combats of 
Chivalry. Thefe fine images tranfport 
them with admiration ; but it is in paint- 
ings only they dare to look on war, — The 
paintings here fpoken of evidently indi- 
cate the origin of atchievements, or coati 
of arms. 

In contempt alfo of Chivalry, the 
count of Champagne, in 1231, declared, 
that he confided more in the loweft of 
his citizens than in his knights. Nor did 
thofe of this order, who were devoted to 
the exa<a performance of religious rites, 
cfcape the ccnfure of the fatirlfts^; they 
X 3 were 

310 M s M I It s or 

were taxed with iimony. In the houies 
of hofpitalerSf aikl others deftined to hu^t- 
miliation^ to poverty^ and charity^ they 
Wftr^ accu&d of pride, opulence, and idle<» 
nefs; and that the faith they profefled 
was fraud and treachery* Nor are the re<^ 
citals of hiftorians wanting in fununing 
up . die unjuft a€tiona of many heroes i 
their employing in thcir train troops of 
robbers, as the miniftera of their ambition 
and vengeance; and th^y reproach them 
alib with inteftine broils and wars, occa-t 
fioned by their private a^imofities. St, 
Lewis made the fevereft laws to extin-t 
guiCh thefe feuds i yet the civil war^, 
under the reigns of the p|-inces of the 
|f oufe of Valois, armed the moft pov«rcr- 
ful lords, and the moft valiant knights, 
againft each pther. Such were the alle* 
gationc; againft this noble inftitution^ 

But though from the bofom of friend- 
fhip, and the union of brotherhood* there 
MUed fome monfters, who oppofed the 

Ancient Chitalry. 311 

laws by which they arrived at the dig<* 
oity of knighthood; there were many 
who publiihed its fame^ and fecured its 
glory. Vidal^ in fpeaking of the knights 
who fucceeded thofe employed by Henry 
king of England^ and his three fons, gives 
to ancient Chivalry the higheft honour. 
And another fatirift fays, ** This order 
anciently was fo refpedtable, that to darQ 
to ccnfure it, would be a fatire on my-* 
felf ; but the white wolf (adds he, allud« 
ing to a popular tradition in his age) has 
devoured all the loyal and brave knights ; 
be not therefore fuprifed the race of them 
is loft/' 

EusTACHE Deschamps, who wrote 
in the reigns of king John, Charles the 
Fifth, and Charles the Sixth, complains 
bitterly ^ainft the Chivalry of his age, 
compared with that of the preceding, 
that it was declining, and would foon 
come to ruin, *' Knights anciently (fays 
ht) were loyal,, fecret^j fond, and brave I 
X 4 Each 

JI2 Mem *o IRS of 

Each one» with his dame and friend, lived 
in bond of harmony, free from ccnfurc, 
free from vice : but now they jangle^ 
now they lye ; nor live as thofe in an- 

It is certain that Chivalry, in the firft 
ages of it, tended to promote order and 
good morals ; and though in fome re^i* 
fpeds imperfedt, yet produced the moft 
accompliflied models of public valour, 
and of thofe pacific and gentle virtues, 
that are the ornament of domeflic life : 
and it is worthy of confideration,- that in 
ages of darknefs, moft rude and unpo-» 
lifhed, fuch examples were to be found, 
from adhering to the laws of an jnftitu- 
tion founded folcly for the public wel- 
fare, as in the moft enlightened times 
have never been furpafled, and very rarely 

Men are weak ; there is a wide road 
between fpcculation and practice. In the 


Ancient Chivalry, 313 

jnoft regular ftatcs, the numbers of thofe 
who live conformable to its laws, arc the 
few, not the many, except in the very 
firft eftablifliment of thcfe ftates. Time 
introduces innovations and abufes; but 
thefe ought to be imputed to individuals, 
not to the profeffion they have embraced. 
Chivalry had, in this refpe£t, the fate of all 
other inftitutions ; and, to difguife no truth 
unfairly, it was liable to fome inconve- 
niencies in its own fyftem, which fliall 
be mentioned. To confider it then on the 
iide of war : In what diforder muft an im- 
petuous foldiery fight, whofe courage was 
their law; and whofe ambition was to 
multiply the dangers that furrounded 
them ? From the time of their war with 
the Albigenfes, the French were reproach- 
ed with the making a fport of danger, and 
braving death. *^ They are contented 
(fays an Albigenfe captain) with arming 
their bodies ; they difdain to defend their 
legs, and they wear only ftockings when 
they go to battle. This was eonfidered 


^i^ Memoiks op 

as extreme temerity in an age when zt^ 
mour was in ufe; and we know that 
among the Romans and Lacedaemonians^ 
excefs of courage was puniflied as cowar- 
dice. The foldiery, who were thus rzih, 
Qiuft be often incapable of rallying, to re«^ 
pair the errors it might lead them to com-» 
mit, or the lofles it might caufe them to 
fuftain, Alfo, the different interefts of 
the lords paramount, and the different 
ranks of knights under them, were likely 
to caufe much confuiion : the power of 
the former would often clafh with th9 
officers belonging to the king ) and from 
^e combinations of thefe different powers^ 
fome nearly equal in rank, all rivals of 
each other in fame, authority might be 
weakened by participation, and obfervance 
of the laws eluded by different pretexts 
in the knights : or, by the covert of inr 
dulgence to their vaffals, the latter might 
efcape the punifhment of difobedience in 
their duty. Experience (hews this in the. 
wars of th? Englifh^ whofe bloody rival- 


Ancient Chivalry. 315^ 

fliips, and hcadftrong foldicry, arc ftriking 
proofs of the ijiconvcniftncies of any fyftcm 
that negleds letters^ to attend folely to 

Let u5 now pafs to a view of the 
Iwughtjs -errant, and fee of what ufc they 
appear to have been in thefe dark ages.-^ 
Among thefe were the Knights of thp 
Round Table, Co famous in the romances 
that depidure thofe times. The martial 
Boucicaut went to the Holy Laftd as 4 
knight errant, and combated the Saracens^ 
fays Godfrey his hiftorian. Thefe he^ 
roes, in imitation of Hercules and The* 
j^us, vifited diftant countries, to redreft 
wrongs, revenge the opprefled, and ekter-> 
Ininate robbers. ** The barbarity of thofc 
4ark ages (fays La Colombiere) required 
the fuccours of fuch redoubted cham-s 
pions ; and they were even of ufe in fuc-^ 
ceeding times, not fufficiently cleared 
jfTQOi ferocitjTjj to do without their aid/' 

3i6 Memoirs of 

Bran TOME confirms patrticularly the 
cuftom of knight errantry, in the' recital of 
the enterprize of the Lord. Galcas, of 
Mantua. In acknowledgment of the ho- 
nour done to him by queen Joan of Na- 
ples, who had taken him out to dance 
with her, he made a vow to run over the 
worldi till he had conquered two knights, 
to prefent to her majefty. At the end of 
a year, which he had employed in fight-* 
ing in every country through which he 
pafied, in England, Spain, Germany, 
Hungary, having overcome two knights, 
he brought them with him, and prefented 
them, kneeling at her feet, to the queen, 
as the accomplishment of his vow. ♦* The "^ 
queen gave them their freedom, with 4 
generofity (fays Brantome) far diflferent 
from that ihewnby the cano ns of St. 
Peter's at Rome. A knight, under the 
like vow, having, fent another knight he 
had taken, with his arms, horfe, ^d all 
his fpoil, to the church, the priefts liked 
them fo well, that they would never part 
9 with 

Ancient Chivalry, jty 

with any one of them^ but retained them 
all ; and made the poor knight their cap* 
tive for the remainder of his life." 

It appears from this anecdote/ that 
Chivalry^ in a iimilar cafe^ a<3:ed by more 
equitable and noble laws. Thefe wander-* 
ing heroes^ the knights errant, reiided 
principally in forefls, without any other 
equipage than that which was neceflary 
for the defence of their .perfons. They 
lived wholly on venifon; and on flatftones 
(placed exprefsly for the purpofe of theie 
knights errant in the forefts) they roafte4 
and eat their meat : the bucks they killed 
were put on thjsfe ftone tables, and co« 
vered over with other ftones, which they 
prefled down on them, to fqueeze out the 
folood ; from whence this meat was called 
Prefled Kid, Food of Heroes ! Salt and 
fome fpices, the only munition they 
charged themfelves with, were all the 
feafoning they ufed. — ^The laws of thefe 
forefters were, to march in fmall com- 



paiiies, fometimes only three or four to-* > 

gether, that they might furpiife the I 

more readily the enemies they fought^ ^ 

taking care, that they might not be ^ 

known, to change or difguiie their at- 
chievements by covering them. A year 
and a day was the ordinary term of their 
enterprize; on their return, they were 
upon oath to relate faithfully their adven« 
tares, and ingenuoufly confefs their faults 
and misfortunes. 

Thb eagenicfs and joy of the ladies 
and young gentlewomen to receive them 
on their return, was inexprefiible ; and it 
is eafy to believe, what the authors of 
thefe times a/Tert, that kings have refused 
crowns, td apply themfelves more freely 
to thefe benevolent purfiiits of knight-* 
errantry. '* Queen Elizabeth wiihed 
(fays M. de Thou) to receive a homage 
that ihould, as in thefe ancient times, be 
sddreiTed to her folely for her own iake^ 
6he was pleafed to exercife her imiagiaa* 


Ancient Chivalry. 319 

tioa i¥ith recalling the memory of thefe 
knights errant^ who run over the worlds 
animated fblely with the defire of pleaiing 
thofe beautiev^ who infpired them with 
fuch noble Sentiments/' To appreciate 
exactly the juftice of thefe ancient tra- 
ditions^ there are many teftimonies in later 
poets^ and in hiftorians. '^ The young 
knights (fays the chevalier Bayard) flying 
the bonds of nurriage^ fearing lefl by 
thrai they fhould be turned from the 
purfuit of their profeflion^ made it a part 
of their duty to confecrate the firft years 
of their inflallation into the order of 
knighthood^ to the viiiting difhnt coun- 
tries and foreign courts^ that they might 
render themfelves.perfedt knights/' 

The averfion of knights to idle*^ 
nt&, their love of war and tournaments, 
their ardour for fome fignal atchievement 
in the profeflion of arms^ are alfo jiiflifiedji 
in Bayard's life^ by the epitaph of John of 
Arces, fon of the chevalier Blanc. T&e 


3^0. Memoirs or 

cnterprizcs of the chevalier are there mefli* 
tioned; and the voyages he made^o Spain^ 
Portugal, England, and Scotland, to defy 
the moft renowned combatants of fwbrd 
or lance. Tacitus paints the Germans in 
the fame manner: " When a city lan- 
guiihes in the bofom of a long peace, al«^ 
moft all the young nobility go and fervc 
clfewhere as volunteers : repofe is a ftate 
of force to the Germans ; perilous hazards 
and eminent dangers are their delight/* 
J Green. was the colour worn by the knights 
errant, .which announced the verdure of 
youth, and the vigour of courage. The 
Monk of St. Denys relates, in his hiftory, 
that in the tournament that Charles the 
Sixth gave in 1380, at St. Deriys, for 
the knighthood of the king of Sicily, and 
his brother the count of Maine, twenty- 
two principal knights, who joufted at 
this feaft, had green fhields, the device 
on each engraved in gold: each knight 
was followed by his fquire, who. wore 
their helmets and their lances ; and, that 


Anc.ient Chivalry. 321 

lib magnificence might be wanting, thefc 
knights waited' for the ladies, who were to 
eondiidt them, agreeable to the order of 
the king, to the lifts ; and Who repaired 
themfelves thither iri drefles of the fame 
livery, dark green embroidered with gold 
and pearls : they came on beautiful pal- 
freys to join thefe knights; ** andfomaf- 
vellous was the array, and [fb rich befeert 
(fays this writer) that it feemed not only 
fo many queens, but fo many goddeifes ! 
for fo much majefty, beauty, and fplen- 
dour, were united, that the fiftions of po- 
ets came far behind what was now be- 
held/' Thus teftified the.mdhk of St. 
Denys^ in his Hiftory of Charles the 

In the voyages made by the knight er- 
rants, they ftiidied the art of fencing, and- 
the manner of joufting, in foreign nations : 
they wiftied to meafure fwords with their 
fuperiors in this art, to learn moft ably 
the fcience of war, in practice as well as 
Y theory^ 

322 Memoirs Of 

theory^ by iigbtiAg on the fide that ap^ 
peared to them to be juft and right : they 
alfo ftudied the ceremonials^ or honours^ 
and the princip^s of courtdy^ ofoierved in 
each courts Their talents and their pO'^ 
litenefs formed- acqnaiotaace with the 
princes and prmcoiTes of the highefl re- 
putation; ohiepved the moft celebrated 
knights and daoa^a; learned their hiftory, 
and recorded the moil worthy pafiages of 
^heir lives > that ch^ might be enabled to^ 
give kiflnix^ing relations^ and a^eeable 
and interefting reports of thenv wlyen they 
ihould return tq their own country. 

The knight crraot) weitt particttlarif 
carefurl^ in all the places thra' which they 
pafTed, at a diflance from courts^ and ci^ 
ties, to engage in the cauic of t&e op-^ 
preiTed : wherever there werb violenpce^ to^ 
reprefsy or crimen to* punifii, there th^ 
were moft af&dMOUs. \Voixien» the unfbr^ 
tunate of all ages and conditions^ they 
flew to afllftji that they might accomplilh 


Ancient CafvALkV. jij 

lh« frcred vc(W thd/ had taken; No^ wat 
the caufe of religion lefs attended to by 
theft knight errantSj though it mufl: be 
confefledi that the laWs of this facred pro*^ 
feffion^ ^ere beft obfcfVed in the early 
times of its inftitution (as is ufually thd 
tafe in temporal matters atfo) } aftd that 
it fhared the fate of all other fyflems 
J^ In its decline* It is likewife to be 
confidered^ that the religioh of thefe 
times was full <^ foj^ilition j com^oied 
bf ceremonies which^ tboKgh facredly ob-t 
ferved^ and in fome refpeds ufefiil^ yet 
were calculated to give more outward ap-^ 
pearance of religion than inward re&:U 
lude of heart. The pfoclamatiehs at the 
tournaments were generally in the name 
of God and the Virgin Mary : they con- 
feffcd, and heard rriafs, before battle; andi 
when they entered the lifts^ they held a 
ibrt of imager with which they made the 
fign of tihe crofs. *'' The lord of Lalin^ at 
the Pas d'Armes of 1449^ had the flag in 
his band painted with the figure. of Chrift 
pn. the crofs • and he figned himfelf With 
; Y a it/' 

324 - M B M o I R s o r 

it," fays Olivier de la' Marchc. And as the 
feafts of the tournaments were accompa-^ 
pinied with thefe ads of devotion, fo the 
feafts of the church were fpmetimes adorn* 
ed with the images of the tournaments. 

Matthew de Couci gives the recital 
of a pious feaft,. or proceflion, that the 
arhbafladors.of Burgundy faw at Milan in 
1459, and which terminated byreprefen-r 
tations or fpedacles of men and women 5 
the former, armed as warriors, tilting for 
the love of their ladies* The prodeffion 
of the Fete Dieu, in the city of Aix in 
Provence, and the perfonage of the Prince 
bf Love c:sthibited in it, renders this ac- 
count of Matthew de Couci, relative to a 
more diftant time^ very credible. M. dc 
Fleury, fpeaking of the .manners of the 
Chriftians in the loth century, fays, " all 
the world were Chriftians 1 fo that it 
fcemed a profeffion bom, and that man 
aind Chriftian was the fame. Chriftianity 
(adds he) was become a part of the man- 

An€I£nt Chitairy,. 325 

ocrs, and confiftcd ckicfly in . exterior 
V_ -ceremonies. Chriftians differed little from 
Jews and infidels, as^igjvices and.yi^^ 
but only as to ceremon ies, which do not 
really make any one good at heart/' TJbc 
priefts themfiplves could not read, and in- 
ftruded the people only by a homily* or a 
fliort difcourfe, written down iji the sw 
cient ceremonials^ If it happened that 
any one gave himfelf to letters, or lifted 
up his mind to the contemplation of 
the heavenly bodies, he paflcd inftantly 
for a magician or a heretic^ 

V , By a fcrupulous attention to all the 
public and private ceremonies pf religion 
(for hearing mafs the moment they were 
up was according to their miffioa) by 
gifts to the church, the monks, &c, 
many, in thefe dark ages, thought they 
might violate the other laws of Chrif- 
tianity : and, by a pilgrimage to fome holy 
place, or an expedition againft infidels or 
heretics, ojr. taking up the monaftic habit 
Y 3 at 

524 MSMOIR< Of 

9t the end of life, ot e?ei^ ordenng ^ fo 
be put on them while they were dj^ 
ing—appeafe the 4Wine vengeance, aiwl 
receive the remiffion of fhetr fins.— »WtU 
liam of Malm^iy^ an Bi^Uih^hiftopan, 
has declared, that Philip the Firft, who 
was interred in tho abbe^ of le Pleiir, 
had taken the religioiis habit in that 
monafkry. Geoffcry, count of Anjou, 
who maintained a bloody waf ugainft his 
father fctr many ^ear», it is pertain (in 
1060) renouneodt on the ^veping before 
his death, his (urms v\A temporal affairs, 
and put on the pious habit of a nionk» to 
depart, thus cjadj, the more iafcly out of 
this world in tp Ae o^er , And fb freq^ucn t 
was the ufe of drefflng in monaftic ha- 
bits to die, that wq!(Q^i\ h^^ recourfe tQ 
this method of ian€fcifying the end of a 
|>ad life, 

Th^ abbe of Cauiyes^ |n the diocefe of 
Narbonne, and bis monki, declared by 
^ authentic v^, in t20^, tl^at all thpie 


Anciewt Chivalry. 327 

who, by their laft wills^ gave orders to be 
buried in their abbey, with the monaftic 
habits ihoald not be obliged, on that ac- 
count^ to leave them any thing : and they 
geaeroufly appointed two monks of the 
houfe to put this habits at the point of 
death, on thofe who fhould devoutly wifh 
to be inveiled in it, and tt) be received as 
monks, and brothers of the monaftery. 
This cnftom continued long after the 
14th century; till the wars of the reli^ 
gionifts checked this ibrt of devotion^ 
^ Henry Eftienne, a proteftant author, in 
conformity tx^ tbie opinions of his iedl, 
obferves fhrewdly j^ •^ the count of Carpi^ 
being the laft who played this fine game^ 
alone remains a ptwerb and ajejt r 

The form in which religion might ap^ 
pear, in peculiar circumftances of hurry 
and confuiion, may be judged of by the 
following fingular aAecdote : -» Btienne 
Vignoles, called Lahire, went with the 
count of Dunois to raife the fiege of 
Y 4 Montarges, 

328 MEMOI'Rt OF 

Montargcs,. in i^i,'/. When Lahire ap- 
proached the liege . (that is to fay, the 
camp of the ^nglifh, who furrounded the 
city) he found a chaplain, to whom he 
faid, ^' that he mixft give him abfolu- 
tion in all hafte •/' the chaplain replied, 
^^ he muft confeCs to him his fins." La- 
hire anfwered, ^* that he had not leifure, 
, for he muft immediately charge the enemy; 
and that he had done all that was the cuf-e 
tom for foldicrs to do:" on which the 
chaplain' gave him abfolution in his own 
way.; and then LahifQ made his prayer 
to God, faying, with his hands joined, 
*^ God, I pray thee that thou wilt do 
this day for Lahire, what thou would'ft 
that Lahire did for thee, if he was God 
and thou waft Lahire." Then he rofc 
up, well fatisfied (for, undoubtedly, he did 
not mean to be profane, though he was 
fo) with having v^ell prayed, and pioufly 
fpokch to God. A great ftrefs on the 
niere ceremonial of religion did, in this 
' *' inftance^ 

ANCrENT Chivalry/ 32^ 

inftance, and Is often feeh to produce, 
though in a difFcrent mode, an unjuftlfia-. 
ble familiaritjr with the Supreme Being, 

We have already ihewn the great atten- 
tion paid in thefe days to the ladies : they 
partook with the knights the diverfiohs of 
hunting and the chace; heard all their 
exploits in war and in the fields their 
defcriptions of the nature of the animals 
they purfued ; the manner of rearing their 
young, and treating their maladies. Gai- 
ety, love, and bravery, were the great cha- 
ratSeriftics of an accompliflied knight. 

The epithet of Joyous, applied from 
tinie inmiemorial to the fword of Charle- 
magne, is one of the moft, ancient tef- 
timonies of the natural ^ty of the 
French. War had an air oj^pleafantry 
peculiar to them ; they never fpoke of it 
but as a feaft, a game, a paftime : * Let 
them play their game/ fay they of the 
profs -bow nxen, who were fliowering 


330 Mbmoius Of 

down arrows on them ; and ' to play a 
^eat ^ame^' rru their defcription of a 

\ Fkoiss ART| relating the deathof ddke 
Wiocefla^ gire$ this pidure of him : 
•' At that fame time (1383) departed this 
life th« gentle and haadCbme duke Win-* 
ceilas of Bohemia^ duke of Luxembourg 
' and of Grabant^ who had been, in his 
age^ noble, amorous^ jojous, wife,, and 

V brave/* And in the eulogy of the brave 
Foulque, nephew of GefaxdJ^e^Roufillon^ 
he completes hi& picture, by faying, ** he 
was flcilful in hunting in the forefts, and 
fifhing in tke rivers 1 and no tefs ikilfol in 
the games of chefs, tableS| and dice,'* And 
the hiftorian of Bayard, relating the din.- 
ner that king Charles the Eighth gave to 
the duke of Savoy at Lyons, fays, •• thcr« 
wefe feveral difcourfes held there con* 
cerning dogs, birds, arms, and love!'* 


Ahcient Chivalry, 331 

An equal knowledge of thefc points 
formccj rfic eulogy of a perfect knight, 
Many were th« fubtile defcrlptions of 
love — which inyolyecl fituations the moft 
de/perat^ or delicious^ to a heart tender an4 
^ncere; an4 (qualities the moft apiiable^ 
or di/gufting^ in a mjftrefs. Sometimes 
0iefe themes produced many pomppus 
declamations to the honour of the la- 
dies^ % hundred thnes repeated; fome- 
times indecent exclamations againft their 
conduct, A judge of thefe d|{putes was 
charaSerifed by the title of the Prince 
of Love : his fentences were often equi- 
vocal, obfcure, and enigmatical ; and the 
parties, however abrupt in their private 
difcourfcs, fubmitted with a refpedful do- 
cility ^o bis decifions^ Cardinal Richc- 
Jieu, and many perfons of quality, re- 
tained this taAe, which their forefathers 
had taken from the ancient cuftoms ; and 
had fuch themes renewed. The French 
academy, to pleafe Cardinal Richelieu their 
founder, treated in their firft meetings of 


332 Memoirs ^f 

feveral fubjefts relative to loye : and in 
the hotel of Longueville this wittieft per-* 
fons, and thofe of the higheft rank, cn-^ 
gaged in thefc difpntes* Thcfe lovers of 
the golden age of gallantry^ from their 
fubtile definitions, appeared lefs read in 
Plato than in the fchool of the Scotifts^ 
from whoni they drew their reftned dif- 
tin£tion3. They^ boafted of Ipving only 
the virtues, the talents, and the graces of 
their ladies; to find in them the only 
fource of felicity; and to a/pire at nothing 
but nxjdntaining, exalting, and fprcading 
abroad in all places, the reputation and 
glory thefe virtues and graces had beftow- 
.cd on them : each, profufe jn the praife of 
his miftrefs, vrould never allow any other 
lady tp be more perfe<5 than her lie 
adored. Some held the moft violent paf-p 
fioh for thofe they had never ken: a 
ftriking inftance of which is given in the 
life of Geoffron Rudel, in the Hiftory of 
the Troubadours. 



This love. was met^h;pficdy.iaiid' mbft 
refpedful; and did not^ as is proved in 
the writings of the Tcoubadburs (who 
have conveyed the pictures of theie times, 
and are to be valued for giving, the ori« 
ginal view of ages fo gemote) always ba- 
nifh from their difcourfes cold, trite, 
and familiar images, the natural produc«- 
tions of ininds in a rude and unimproved 

The Chevalier de la Tour fpeaks of the 
fanaticifm of the Lovers^ who formed a 
kind of paftoral life in Poitou, during the 
imprifonment of St, Lewis 5 and who, 
under pretext of delivering him, over-ran 
the confines of Flanders and Picardy, and 
were at lail exterminated in the Orleanois : 
under the fame pretext, Languedoc was 
defolatedin i3:ao. They called their fo- 
ciety the Fraternity of Penitents in Love ;- 
others called them Galois, and Galoifes; 
for the women, as well as the men, dif** 
puted who fhould the moil zealoufly main* 


^4 Msiiidiis of 

tain tfaehoBoiit of tins ortrari^gaiii reli^ 
gioti i the oi^GL of whick w^^ to proi?^ 
the eiEceik_of dseit love, hj an invki-i^ 
cible determinatioti to farire the rigoux^ 
of the feafons, and the hardihips of an 
itinerant life : and knights^ fqnires^ k- 
diesi and demoij feltwj who cmbraeed this 
reform^ were, on the iatiM principles^ in 
the bwniiig heats of .fummer^ to wnp 
themfelves up in watm cloaks and dou^ 
t>le hoods/ and to have great iires, at 
ivhich they Were obliged^ by the lawd of 
the orders to ftand and r6aft themfelves^ 
as if they were pinched with cold ;--i-all 
this was probably done^ in allufioti to the 
power lore ha^ to woric the moft ftrange 
metamorphofcs. When winte r jfpread its 
ice anii its frbfts, lore then changed the 
order of the fcafons : the lorcr who ranged 
tinder his banner then bucxled with thd 
inoft ardent fires ; a fmall fingle pettlcoatj 
t^ith a t hihJ [on^ cornet^ compofed th« 
drefs of the ladies ; and to h ave worft 
fur cloaks, gloves, or mirffsf^ or to have 

~ h^d 

Ancient ChivALRY. 33[^ 

bad a hre, would hsne beeo» witb tfaui 
l^aT^ capital crime* The damnics of 
their gr«at. halls were ad<»iied with wio« 
ter^gnens, if gneoft were to be had| 
thofc of "their chambers were done up 
in the &me ma ftncr j and a light fergc< 
without plttOi, was all the covcrtp g they 
bad to their bedd^ Gontier, an ancient 
poet, fays, aUai^ng probably to this— 

-ip *« Tbcy fear ho coldy whom ftroftg love Bold.'* 

The lovers afked, from the beauty to 
whom they were flaves, only the privi- 
lege of touching their hands or lijw> 
form* borrowed from the ceremony oC 
homage} that is to %, the honour c£ 
holding from them their exiftence, as a 
fief : but they were not always, any more 
'others, faithful to tlie bonds they had 

As it was a time of ignorance, fo there 
was much licentioulhefs on many occa- 
fions : and St. Lewis groaned, to find ie 


33^ Memoirs of 

ciftabliilied even near liis tent, during 
the moft holy of the criifades (forthodgh 
the ceremonials were by many punc- 
tilioufly obferved, yet little refped was 
paid to the moil: facred aiid honourable 
laws o^ ancient Chivalry) : aild Joinville^ 
the confidant of St. Lewis, reports the 
ignominy this prince caufed one of the 
knights to fuffer, whom he furprized in 
the crime of adultery ; r which fhews how 
neceflary it was, to flop the effedls of the 

general corruption. 


The monk of Vigeois, towards 1180, 
ipeaking of the licence which reigned in 
the troops, counted, in one of the French 
armies, fifteen hundred concubines ^ whofe 
drefs and ornaments coft immenfe fums^ 
And the fame hiftorian adds, " that rcfpeft 
for the public did not confine them to the 
clafs they belonged to; but, adorned as w^re 
the nobleft dames, they were confounded, 
from their appearance, ^ith them t and 
even the queen herfelf was deceived, on 


Ancient Chivaery. 337 

beholding a woman of this fort at church. 
As fhe was going to perform the ceremony 
of kiffing thePax,{he embraciedher (which 
was the cuftom) as fhe did the other ladies i 
but, being better informed, fhe made great 
complaints to the king her hufband ; and 
that monarch forbade all fuch women to 
wear the mantua^ the garment by which 
married women were diflinguifhed.— — 
Preachers the moil in credit launched 
their cenfures againft this licentioufnefs : 
and St. Denys deplores, in thefc terms> 
the miferies of his monaflery; After the 
recital of the tournaments made in 1389^ 
at St. Denys, for the knighthood of the 
king of Sicily, and his brother :^— ** Till 
then (fays he) all went well ; but the lafl 
night fpoiled all^ by the dangerous licence 
of mafking, and permitting all forts of 
farcical pofture-dances to be continued 
through the night, ill fuited to the dig- 
nity of fuch confiderable perfonages ^ and 
which I judge it fit to remark in this 
hiflo;y, to ferve as an example in future 
Z times^ 

33^ MtMoiRsoir J 

times, from the diforders it ocCa(toiie<l i \ 

for this ill cuftom of making night inta • 

day, joined with the liberty of eating and | 

drinking to cxcefs, caufed many freedoms 
to be taken by many perfons, as unworthy 
the prcfcnce of the king as the ianftity 
bf the place in which he kept his courts 
To fam up all in a few words (adds hc)F 
hufbands fuffered the diflionour of their 
wives, and fathers of their daughters/' 
Such were the evils pradlifed in this feaft ; 
which the king concluded the iblemniza- 
tion of by a thoufand forts of prefents, 
given not only to the knights and fquires 
who fignalized themfelves therein,N but to 
the ladies and demoifelles,tl> whom he gave 
diamond ear-rings, jewels, and rich ftufFs ;. 
and honoured the principal of them by 
a falutation, on the difbanding of his court. 
In the great caftles there were beheld^ 
"alfo, manners that proved no lefs the igno- 
rance than the ccrruptnefs of thefe ages : 
fo that a romancer fays, iatirically, ^^ a 
lady in her caftle, who had received a 


Ancient Chivalhy. 33^ 

koigh^> could not jQeep till (he had pre- 
iented him with a fair companion of her 

As to the manhers of the Chriitiaos 
who went on the crufades^ Joinville fays, 
they were worie than thofe of the othei: 
armies : all foits of vices reigned ; thofe 
that the pilgrino^)! brought from their owa 
countries, and thofe of the countries they 
came to> which they caught^ and added to 
their own. 

But to pafs to the inconveniences that 
Military Chivalry occafioned, with regard 
to the refped due to royal authority, and 
to the attachment of the fubjedt to his 
country :-*«a multitude of lords and barons 
had vaiTals, knights, and fquires, and per- 
haps even fraternities of arms^ who were 
rendered almofl indqjendent, and often 
rebelled againft the princes they ferved 3 
and, from caprice and pailion, or fordid 
intcccfk, fold their ferviccs to the enemies 

' Z 2 King 

34^* MfiMdiRS OF 

Kino* Charier the Sixth, in 1370, tef- 
tified hi6 difcontent at the conduft of the 
count d'Oftcrnant, his ally, who had ac- 
cepted the order of the Garter : and the 
duke of Orleans was equally cenfured for 
binding himfelf, in 1 399, by a fraternity 
of arms and alliance, to the duke of Lan« 
^fl^uzn^ ^*^ cafter, who foon after dethroned Ric hard 
'^^^^^A^7 ^^^% ^^ England, fon-in-law of king 
' "^^^ 7' Charles the Sixth. The credit and the 
authority gained by fuch focieties were 
held of dangerous confequence to the 
repofe of the ftate. It was alledged 
againft the Effars, that, in 141 3, under 
pretext of affifting at a tournament, which 
<7as to be in the park of Vincennes, but 
in reality to take away the king and the 
duke de Guienne (having bribed a great 
number of their troops for this purpofc) 
they held in Brie near five hundred armed 
men. Chatles the Seventh was often 
agitated with jealoufy and fufpicions 
againft the dukes of Orleans, Bretagnc, 
and others, who feemed to held intelli^ 


Ancient Chivalry. 341 

gences contrary to his authority ; whe- 
ther for having refufed his orders, or for 
having accepted thdfe of the duke of Bur^ 
gundy. — T- But \ye will proceed to the 
abufes of Chivalry, in other parts of the 
political eftate. 

The knights, who, in their fiefs, had 
been (fo to fpeak) the arbiters ,of juftice 
and of war, abandoned, towards the time 
of Philip le Bel, Lewis leHutin, and Phi- 
lip le Long, the ^drniniftration of juftice; 
}uid, without ceafing, were occupied in the 
continual quarrels of the kings of France 
and England ; and gave thcmfelves wholly 
up to the cxercife of arms in war and 
tournaments : whereas, in the fjrft ages of 
the French njonarchy, the great lords an4 
courtiers were deftined equally to the de- 
fence of private perfons, by their juftice 
and eloquence, as to the public, by their 
arms ; imitating hereby the example of the 
Romans : in reference to whom was this 
janon law :— ' The fervice in the palace, 
Z 3 and 

342 MbMOTRS OF' 

and the power of pleadings are prohibited 
to criminals ;' which proves the mutual 
exercife of both^ long before and in tfac 
firft ages of Chivalry : and thaf thefe 
double offices^ of warrior and }udge, were 
often united in the greateft lords an<} 
knightSy is feen in the Hiflory of the 
Albigenies^ where Gui Cap de Pore is 
defcribed^LS a knight of the higheft birth, 
the greateft valour, and as the beft lawyer 
in Chriftendom* And the braye captain, 
Peter de Monraby (fays Gerard de Roufil- 
Ion) *• was fo dangeroufly wounded in a 
battle, that he was obliged to keep his 
bed five years, without being able to 
mount on horfeback, or judge a procefs/* 
This union of offices depended, however, 
on talents and inclination, and was not of 
abfolute neceffity, as, indeed, it was im- 
poffible it fhould be. In an old romance 
it is obferved, agreeable to this, that a 
lady who had for her hufband a rich lord, 
captivated the heart of a knight. The 
hufband was an eloquent man, a fine 


Ancient Chivalry. 343 

fp€»k€t, and of abl€ judgment ; and it 
was l)is favourite employment to afUft at 
pleadings, and to pronounce judgment: 
the lover, on the contrary, breathed ar- 
dently the dcfire of acquiring glory, gain-. 
ing the prizes at tournaments, and getting 
the reputation of a brave knight. 

As to the tournaments, though they 
were prohibited by the Popes, on account 
of the blood there fhed — with menaces to 
deprive of ccplefiaftical fepulchre thofe 
who ihould be killed in them — yet they 
were always held in honour, to the lofs 
of many lives. In 1240 fixty knights, 
jn a tournament at Nuys, near Cologne, 
wercflajn. The cxceffive expences they 
drew on the nobility, which prevented 
iheir contributions to the wars, was the 
reafon of their being interdifted in France. 
Other princes encouraged them, that they 
might lower their vailals, and lead them 
to fpend their fortunes in excefs of emu- 
lation;' and the tournaments, in this view, 
Z 4 were 

344 Memoirs of 

were the gulph of the nobles, who vic$| 
with each other in the moft inconceivable 

Be AUG AIRE, ftill a celebrated place 
for its fairs, was once ftill more fo for 
the ufejefs and criminal prqdigality ob- 
ferved at the feafts which, in the midft 
of fummer, were held there by the princes, 
the lords, and knights. In 1 174 the king 
of England proclaimed a tournament there, 
which yras to celebrate the reconciliation 
of Remond, duke of Narbonne, with the 
king of Arragon. The monarchs were 
not there 5 but ten ' thoufand lords and 
knights caufcd their names to refound by 
the moft lavifti prodigality. The count dc 
Thouloufe gave to Remond d'Agout a 
hundred thoufand pieces of money ; and 
the latter, a generous and magniiicent 
knight, diftributed them immediately, in 
equal portions, to a hundred other knights. 
Bertran Raibaux having ordered them to 
plough, with twelve pair of oxen, the field 


Ancient Chivalry. 345 

pf the tournament, had thirty thoufand 
pieces of money fowed in it ; — the ex- 
preffion ^ fow with filver' was, perhaps, 
derived fromi hemce. William Gros de 
Martello, who came to this court, accom- 
panied with four hundred knights, cm- 
ployed no other fire to prepare the meats 
of his table, but what was miide with wax 
candles and flambeaux. The countpfs de 
Sorgue fent a crown of the value of forty 
thoufand fols to William Meta, who was 
to be proclaimed Prince of the Jongleurs* 
In fine, Romnous de Venous fhewed, in 
his prodigality, the mofl barbarous cru- 
elty; he had thirty fine horfcs brought 
thither, and as a fpeftacle of magnificence, 
as he called it (devoutly hoped to be with- 
out example) had thefe noble and unfortu- 
nate victims of his cruelty burnt alive be* 
fore all the fpeiStators. Every other inflancc 
of the mofl fooHfh or defperate prodiga- 
lity was nothing, compared to this favagc 
inftance of inhumanity. Houfes, lands, 
lives, lofl freely by the owners, or with 


446 Memoii^s Of 

ixmtual canient^ were at the will of t^^ 
givers or lofers ; but to be wantoa ia har^ 
barity to fuch defencelefsj, Boblej, ufefal 
aiumal$» tauil caufe every breait to (hud^ 
fierj and can have only one ufe in the re^ 
yiting^ which is, tx) prove that when men 
f>i\ct give into exceffes, for the fake of 
, fmulatioii and prodigality, it fo depraves 
|he mind^ as to hazard its becoming aban^ 
lioned to the vileft anions, under the de«» 
lading maijc of greatnefs and generoiity. 

By fuch pfFeds of the tournament^ they 
were degraded j a^id opulence, intrigue, and 
fkrength, taking place inftead of courage 
and virtue, proved their ruin. Jt is pof- 
fible it was from this degradation of Chir 
valry, that the famous proverb came into 
vogue, * A good name is better than a 
golden girdle •/ for this made a part of 
the drefs of the knights, as well as of the 
ladies, to whom it has been folely applied. 
The power of the knights being thus 
changed into means of private interefl, or 
private quarrels; and not being able to 


^Nc;|ENT Chivalhy. 547 

|>reathe ia peace, when publk w^rs €a]le4 
iiot for their fervices; they- becdi|ie jia 
)i)et(er than robbers and yidims o(F ^ack 
pther> apd the poor people were oftei^ 
Sacrificed to their uogoyerned- aaimofitiet 
and rage. Thus, ijnjttft themielyes, they 
f oi|ld not but be unjuft to othcrs^ : ihcj 
abandoned all adfpiniftration of juftice; 
and France, often defolated in the mtdfl 
of its wars and troubles, was obliged to let 
thefe diforders go unpunifhed ; and tholb 
who fhould have defended the interefts of 
the nation they belonged to, as anciently 
their progenitors did, were multiplyinf 
every day its evils, by the promotions that 
jtook place without number in the &tal 
civil wars. Thus did they add to the 
number of its tyrants, and to the inere^ 
of public mifery ; infomuch that it was 
found neceilary fometimes to arm againft 
^hofe its pretended defenders, as we find 
in the reigns of king John and Charles 
^he Fifth. 


548 Memoirs of 

The more confcqucnce thofe knights 
loil by their increafed number, the more 
tbcy attempted to regain, by a forced au- 
thority, what had been granted to the be- 
pcyolence and bravery of their anceftors ; 
^nd by violence and rapine lift them- 
fclves from the duft to which they were 
allied, A peafant in the twelfth cen- 
tury, wjio led his cart, dravirn by two 
oxen, and loaded with wax, to the caftle 
of his lord, ^a$ pietamorpfaofed very 
•foon^ by hitting the temper of his maf7 
ter, and his foolift) tafte for profufion j 
and, ampng other things, contriving for 
him a moft fupe rb illumination : • for 
this zeal and complaifance he was re- 
warded with the gift of a fief, had no-r 
ble land granted to him, and his chil'^' 
dren were decorated with the honour of 
Chivalry. This abuie of the rewards di{e 
to merit increafed fo fhamefully, ^at^ 
Brantomc obfervcs, " at laft they created 
themfelves knights, without applying to 
the king; infomuch that knights were 


Ancient Chivalry. ^4^ 

liiore in number now (fuch as they were) 
than formerly were feen of fquircs and 
young gentlewomen in their fervice : and 
to their wives they gave the title of Ma- 
dam, belonging only to nobility ; and 
they themfelves, who were only allowed 
to wear filver, now ufurp golden fpurs."— 
** They reckon (fays la Noucy^mtfrc* than 
three hundred gentlemen,' who,.byjdint of 
importunity, obtained of the. Jdng the 
order of St. Michel; but they^fhrdly* re- 
pented, and near .a hundred of tbcKru hid 
in their chefts the mark they had received 
from the order of the kinjg, to avoid the 
expences they had, by engaging in thii 
condition, brought on themfelves;! and 
which would have brought !thcih,' had 
they continued in it, to the alhas-houfe." 
And he adds, *' that the order given by 
Henry the Third did not fuccccd .better 
with any of thofe who had obtained it." 
The profound ignorance alfo of many 
knights (for fome could not even read) 
obliged them not only, to abandon the 


3^ . ftfEEMOIRS OF 

adoufiiftration of jufltce^ but their oiirii 
sifiittrs ; tv'bich either went to ruin by fuch 
ill condtA, or» if they ufed unlawful 
«u»filros tD repair them, th^ fell into the 
huts of men who £iw their necei&tyji 
and wifixed to rife Dn their fall ^ for moil 
^ the G^Gcrs^ both civil and ecclcfiafl ;i«> 
L €sik^ ittAead of the knowledge of fcripture 
•r IsWf ^^^?f^ c^^y ^^ cal culat ions of un« 
juft proi^ts^ and the fubtilty of chicanery^ 
which dlejr had brought with them from 
iim oottntrios beyond the mountains^ 

EusTACitE DsscHAMPSy in a ballad 
he wvote^ laments the good old times;^ in 
«dacb the ftudy of the liberal arts, re-* 
foied to flakes or bondmen, wa^ folely 
te&rved to the nobles:*^'' Then the no-» 
Ues made glorious conqtiefU, and main- 
tained ^mielves in the honour that 
feicncewill always give, when joined with 
^leprc&iiion of arms : formerly (he adds) 
the firft twenty years of life were pafied in 
Mcevring inftruftion, as fuch youths could 
7 not 


Ancient Chivalry, j^ 
Hbt receive kmghtbood i fK>w edatatk>ft 
is .b^un by fetcii^ the young to« o» 
liarfebacki Their limbsi yet Weak, are 
ftrctched and exerciled, without giving 
ihem time to ftrengthen them, and thck 
di:^ofitiofls foid health are ruined by lead- 
ing them into all exceffcs : delivered up to 
their pi(&ote&# vthtn they ihoukl have been 
cuki voting roodefty^ and to a love of gam** 
ing inftead of virtue, they give up the ac- 
tjuirement of knowledge to their flam^ 
who, as it muft needs happen^ becomeithcw: 
mafters in all things." To this he adds a 
piaurc'of the prideof the c lergy, infulting 
the impoveriftied nobles, a^nd betraying the 
cntcfcfts.of their king; whofe fervicc is 
abandoned, and whofe kingdom is loft* 

TuESiJ complaints had a ^eal founda- 
tion . A governor of a very importftfrt place 
was fo ignorant, ^s to be under the neceffity 
of getting another to read an order c£ 
ftate; and Du Gucfclin, tlie firft mail 
of his age, was not a jot wifcr :— being be- 


352 Memoirs 6p 

fieged in Rerines, and reteiving a herald 
from the poft of the duke of Lancaftcr; 
who brought him a fafe condud: to admit 
Iiim to that prince ; he took the writing; 
and delivered it to another to read ; for no-^ 
thing knew he, or would deign to know^ 
of letters : '* altho' (fays the hiftorian) he 
fttffered not himfelf to be held in awe hy 
clerks, whom he called Furred Hoods; and 
for their abufes oppofed them refolutely^ 
and held them in the higheft contempt 
and indignity/^ 

NoTWiTHSTAt^6iNb the diforders 
here faithfully related, and which, more 
or lefs^ all eftablifliments are fubjeft to^ 
Chivalry fuftained its reputation, from the 
high eft^em it was in for fo many ages, 
founded on the wifdom of its laws, and 
the glory of its heroes ; and probably it 
would have fubfifted to the lateft period^ 
if other caufes, which remain to be re- 
vealed, had not brought on its total ruin; 


ANCi^Nt CitlVAtRY. 2ii 

The hiftory of France prefeiits feveral 
princes on the throne, who were the mo- 
dels and the protcdtors of Chivalry. Of 
all thefe the moflrilluftribtis feem to have 
been Charles the Sixth and Sfevchth^ and 
Francis the Firft. Charles the Sixth 
breathed nothing but war : on his emerg- 
ing fVom childhood, a glorious vidlory 
had fignalized his firft arms; and he was 
feproachcd for his cxteffive paffion foi^ 
tournaments, even wheil tournaments were 
held ill the higheft honour. , Contrary to 
the ufual cuftom df princes, and above 
all of kings, he meafured fwords with 
the braveft and moft fkilful joufters, with- 
out examining, whether they were or were 
not of noble 1)irth : and this lowered hls 
dignity and expofed his life. And to the 
very end of his reign, in 1414, notwith^ 
ftanding the deplorable ftate of his health, 
he re-animated his opprefled vigour, ap* 
peared again in amis, and farw with delight 
in the duke de Guientie, his fon, a wor- 
thy competitor of his love and ikill in the 
A a exercifes 

354 Memoirs of 

cxercifcs of Chivalry. Some authors have 
attributed the Iaw» which forbade princea 
to expofe their perfons in tournaments, to 
the infirmities of Robert count dc Cler- 
mont, fon of St. Louis, caufed by the 
blows of the maces he received in a tour- 
nament : but the law was anterior 3 it ex- 
ifted from the time of Lewis the Seventh, 
and Philip Auguftus. The author of the 
romance of Gerard de Rouffillon alludes 
to this law, when he iays, that Gerard, 
after having been a fpe^tor of the tour- 
naments of his vaiTalSt exwcifed him&lf 
againft a ftake; probably the figure in 
wood of an armed man. Not being al« 
lowed to mix with his inferiors, he was 
glad to fliew them the grace and addr€& 
with which he could handle his arms^ 
and to give them a model of excellence. 
Charles the Sixth, at the marriage oF 
the count of Hainault, would not be 
bound by this cuftom : he ^ would jouA 
againft one named Colart d'Eipinay, a moft 
reputed joufler j and valiantly did he ihew 


ANCtENT Chivalry- 355 

his ikill iJX arms : and for his youth and 
vigour, he was then praifed and a4mired. 
But when, being niarried^ he continued to 
difplay his talents in joufting, fufiiciently 
known before, many of the nobles were 
ill content that he did fo ; and faid the 
danger was too great, and he fliould have 
been perfuaded otherwife : but the an- 
fwer was, He would not be perfuaded. 
Thus he degraded his royal dignity, by 
mixing in the crowd with fo little caution 
^nd gravity. Neither ill health (in part 
owing to (uch violent exercifes) nor the 
murmurs of" his people could reftrain him. 
On the arrival of the ambaffador, who 
came from England to treat of the mar- 
riage of his daughter Catharine, he re- 
galed them with fuperb feafts of all kinds ; 
but above all with tournaments, in which 
he joufted againft the duke of Alenjon, in 
the prefcnce of the queen and the prin- 
eeilies of her court ; and he caufed the 
young duke de Guienne alfo, his fon, the 
prefumptive heir of his talents as Vv^ell 
A a a as 

35<5 Memoirs of 

as of his crown, to make proof, of his 
valour, and the fine vigour of his youth. 
He ran feveral courfes with fueh addrefs 
and courage, that the admiration of him 
was very great. 

The valour of Charles the Seventh » 
and what he did to wreft from the Eng* 
lilh the fineil provinces of his monarchy^ 
is graved in ineffaceable characters in the 
./ouls of a nation fo tend erly attached to 
their legitimate fovcreigns. Francis th^ 
Firft, the conqueror of Marignan, of a 
nation till then looked on as invincible 
(for the Swifs ftyled themfclves till then 
the Conquerors of Princes), paifed almoft 
all his life in camps and armies. His 
bravery, his probity, his frankncfsj his 
generofity, his gallantry, his fine figure^ 
his open and martial phyfiognomy,— all 
would have given him the preference,. even 
in the moft ancient period of romance, as 
the chief of knights errant ; and his name 
infcribed among the lift of the Nine Wor* 


Ancient Chivalry. 357 

thieSy would not have fuUied their honour. 
In all his adtions^ he propofed to himfelf 
foe a model the laws of Ancient Chivalry, 
which he preferred to the ufual maxims 
of politics* He afpircd alfo to the glory 
of the Nine Worthies (fo well known in 
the ancient courts, though loft to the 
knowledge of later periods, or only pre- tradition and the ceremonies of 
our kings at arms), and he (hewed himfelf 
to his court, dreifed in the manner of thofe 
ancient heroes. A young gentlewoman 
Jeeing him one day in that equipage, told 
him, by way of compliment, ihc thought 
ihe beheld in his perfon one of theNeuf X/. 
preiix^ meaning to have faid Neuf Preux. : 

Who wo\44 l^ive imagined, that under 
thefe three reigns of Charles the Sixth, 
Henry, the Seventh, and Francis the Firft, 
fo f(|C!mingly :favourable to, Chivalry, "its 
ruin (hould eoinmence ? yet fo it really. 
was. The divifipns that took place among 
the princes- of the royal bJopd* during. 
Aa3 J^ing 

358 Memoiks t> t 

king 'Charles's malady, ciiifed in ^1 
the parts of the govtrnment an in* 
iinity of difordets ; and thofe introduced 
into chivalry were not the Icail pernicioos. 
Thofe princes corifidered the authority 
{almoft defpotic) which pa^d into thetr 
hands, and which they wrefted from each 
other "without ceafing^, as a proper inftra- 
mcntto ferve their ambition, their cnpi- 
dity, and the mtitual hktred that devonred 
them. 1£ in fomc lucid intervals the un- 
fortunate monarch rcfnmed over them the 
^bfolutc power they bad torn froin him^ 
It was only to bcftow it on favonritea $ 
ivho made as bad a ufe of ity alternated^ 
riiing 6n the ruins of each other. Hhte 
chicfis of thcfe different parties thought 
they- dould only fuftaih themfelVfts ,by 
the aids of Chivalry 5 ind riot xtfLeOitig 
that it wa:s the excellent conftitution bf 
Chivalry^ ahd not the Wltitude ftf 
knights, that prodaesd <he ftrength cjf 
ftateSji^^'fhey fought 'tb prdcure a gieit 
number of creatures by the ^re^uent dnd 
9 undiilin* 

Ancient Chivalry. 359 

undiAinguiihing promotions they made. 
From the candidates for this new fort of 
knighthood, neither ftrength nor expence 
was exaftcd : the honour was lavifhed on 
children of ten and even feven years of 
age, inftead of waiting the time of fquires^ 
fervice, and perfeSion in the exercife of 
arms. There was no account of probity 
nor of manners : raw men and 'boys be- 
came rich with the fpoils of -the ' ftate, in 
places they had gained by intrigue, and 
in which they maintained diemfelves by 
the vilcft 'flattery ; thus receiviqg the re*, 
wards due only to the brave and worthy 
defenders of the ftate. Many of them did 
indeed lofe their lives in its fervice j for, 
from their inexperience and raihnefs, they 
were only fo many vidims drefled out 
and adorned for facriiice ; and theie thuUf* 
dertf^ of war, who were ilying about 
every where, threatening to deftroy ^all 
the world, were fo many Adonis's co- 
vered over with pearls ; and their pcr- 
fons more Illy- white aad ihining than 
A a 4 the 


the fineft ivory : -^wholly occupied with, 
their drefs and adjijftments, and carrying 
• always in their hands little glaffes, to 
fmooth the hairs that had flrraggled out 
of their places. If tbefc wpr? the cxcr-r 
ciies they were employed in, and fuch the 
effeminate life they lived, ijo wonder that 
Chivalry declined and fell into abhorrence. 
It was, hovvever, kept alive, on the brink 
of its deftruftion, by the effort of Charley 
the Seventh, who. had no other r^iburcea 
by which to fupport himfelf. To the 
defire of prefcrving his crown, was joined 
the ardour of preferving a miftrefs, in 
whom reigned all thofe fentiments of 
glory, with which Ancient Chivalry had 
infpired ladies of the higheft birth.: and 
his too frequent promotions of knights 
was to excite and recompenfe the .valour 
of his fubjefts, on occafions which V4r 
continually furniflied him wi^h. 

But however powerfjul thefe fuccour^ 
to ftfengthcn his tottering throjpe, he 


Ancixkt Ghivalry. ^361 

failed not to add othersv He inflitated a 
pew body of tnilitia^ regularly paid from 
$1 new tax, called the . Gendarmery, or 
horfe of the king's houihold, by which 
he propofed to increafe the emulation of 
the knights. And he was not deceived ; 
for he beheld in this militia Warriors ca-. 
pable of difputing with their rivals, and 
of gathering frojn them, in after-tinjes, 
the palm of glory • The more ardour 
thcfe new levies exprefled, the more eager 
were the nobility of France to infcrib? 
their names in their mufter-roll : for, be- 
iides the advantage they found in a fei;vice 
which admitted of no interruption, theitj 
was alfo a right, in thefe militia| to com-- 
maiid the troops, which was not confined 
to the rank of banneret or knight; and 
this continued fervice rendered the Gen-» 
darmery better difciplined, and n^ore able 
^d ufeful in the armies : and, if they did 
not poffefs the. ftridt manners and all the 
not)le virtues gf Ancient Chivalry, they 
were no^ a^ all deficient in the heroic var 


j62 MfcMOlR€ ^r 

loisr df it, which they prcfer ve with tHc 
tnoA C7LZ& military discipline to this dgy ^ 
Francis the Firft, finally, ieemed oreatedl 
en purpofe to recover, in the fnilitary 
ftatc, the true fpirit oif Ancient CIm- 
▼airy. It cannot be doubted, thart the 
elevation of his gentos^ and hie love of 
war, caufed him to cherifli partknlarly 
the military virtoes : h& had (hewn how 
high they were in his efteem/when, gt the 
battle of Marignan, he wonld be armed a 
knight by the chevalier Bayard* 

The example of Francis the Firft was 
followed by that of his fon, Henry the 
Second, who, when he was dauphin, at 
the camp of Marfeilles in 1536, would 
receive the honour of Chitalry from no 
other hand but (that of the marecbal de 
Biez : which afterwards feved the life of 
the marcchal, who was going to be exe- 
cuted for fome adlion of his fon-in-law, 
which brought both into trouble. But 
Henry, remembering thatto the tnarcchil 


AnCieKt Chivalry. 363 

he owed hi^ knighthood, lent him in*- 
'ftantly a pardon. 

Francis the Firft carti^ his Ibvte 
and cfteem for talents of every kind 
to the higheft pitch, whatever was the 
Wnk of "thofe who poflefled them : hfe 
ticcofded hiis pr6te<ftion Mid rewairds to 
^11 without diftirtftion ; he faw in therii 
•no fuperiority, hut what their genius anft 
taerit gave them. Thofe who excelled i/i 
the knowledge x^ the laws, the Tciences, 
and letters, he decorated with the fword, 
drcfs, and prerogatives of Chivalry, as 
badges of honour; and by fo dding, taught 
his hohility (almoft all warciors) that^they 
{hould refcrve a part of their efteem for 
thofe qualities, which equally concur with 
military talents to the gloiy^df^hc ftate. 
Biit fuch examples bbcomingtoo-fr^uent, 
produced a contrary elfeajafedtelnped ftifl 
inofe poweiffully on the toinils'^Jf the no- 
blcfs, the^pre-^eiiiliiehce cff vflflotir ; tfnd tfhal 
no otHer^gtor^r Wis \^'ffhy of fheir pWfuit^ 

Bouteiller, . 


364 Memoirs of- 

Bojiteillcr^ a famous ' advocate in 1380^ 
feys, ** a lawyer may and ought to wear 
gold, as well as the knights ; they are in 
the records called knight? of law, and 
have equal privileges/' There was a dif- 
pute however on this matter, held before 
the emperor Sigifmund, at the council of 
Bale, in 1431 ; wnen he aligned the pre-^ 
cedency to the dodtors of laws over the 
knights : ** For I can (fay^ he), in one day, 
make an hundred armed knights ; but a 
good dodtor of laws, was I to live a thour 
fend years, I could not make/' And the 
emperor Gharles the Fourth gave th» 
dubbing to Barthole the advocate, an4 
even the right of bearings the arms of 
Bohemia : and Charles duke of 6ri0a^ 
made William Bailli, an advocate in the 
parliament of Paris« a knight ; apd he was 
confirmed in this dignity by Henry .the 
Second and Charles the Ninth: .and 
the emperor Charles the Fifth honoured 
thofe artifts, who were eminent for, their 
geniws, with the fame dignity and privi-t 


Ancient Chi v.a l r y. 365 

leges • But thofe who were defccndcd from 
the firft heroes, or who were created knights 
for their military fervices, could never 
endure to divide their glory- with fuch 
perfons, or to behave to them as their 
equals : and their jealoufy was fo vehe- 
ment, that fome knights chofe to give up 
knighthood, and many neglefted the ufual 
opportunities of receiving knighthood at 
breaches, or in the field of battle, becAufe 
knighthood had been conferred onjnagif- 
trates and men of letters : though the 
adminiftration of juftice- was always al- 
lowed one of the eflential offices of an- 
cient Chivalry.. They did not refkd: 
on this ; nor that magiftrates combated, 
without ceafing,. the moil dangerous ene- 
mies of the ftate,— -the difturbers of the 
public peace; nor forefaw that their. fuc- 
ceffors, having only the laws and their own 
courage for their arms, would be obliged, 
under the reigns of Henry the Third and 
Henry the Fourth, to make head againft 
the efforts of a mutinous populace, to aid 



366 Memoirsop i 

the legitimate heir of the crown to mount 

the throne^ to which thcfe rebels dared to ' 

difpute his ri^ht. |n fa^^ the union qf 

thefe bodies, for the prefervation of good 

order and the defence of the nation, was 

jaecefl"^, and both were of equal impor«- 

tance, and deferved equal honour: and this 

was evident from the very cuih^m of king^ 

and the higher barons, who called the 

knights to their councils^ and impofed thp 

obligation of their aiBfting at them with as ^ 

much equity and good faith, as they h^d 

ihewn intrepidity and valour in their mi« 

litary fervices* 

Kino Charles the Eighth, holding a 
Council in the hotel of the bifliop of Pa- 
ris, on the fubjcdt of a letter written by 
the archduke Maximilian, in i486, to the 
lnhabita(it$ of the city of Paris, to induce 
theni to revolt,— affemblcd the knights 
pf his order, and his other counfcllor?^ 
to read to them his anf>ver, and to havf 
their opinion. Montluc followed thi$ 
example in his councils of war; and ihew*-- 



Ancient CnivAtitr. J67 

cd the knights of his order the letters . 
which he wrote, and communicated to 
them his deiign$> for their advice« 

Since the time of Francis the Firft. Aro^^^'^^^f^ 
have been few knights created, except t^^>^ryvrru^^^ 
the field of battle > as in the inftances of the 
brave Montluc, who received the fword of j^j^^^^Jf)'S> 
Chivalry from the duke d'Anguien^ ^Ux ^ ^ 'ul, 
the battle of Cerifoles in 1544 ; and Froe^^^ a^}^ 
lich, colonel-general of the thirteen Swiik ^*^ • 
enfigns, whom the king ennobled^ a^d in* 
veiled with the charge of lieutenant of the 
hundred Swifs. We may alfo confider the 
vi£t king Henry the Fourth made to r. 
M. de Rofni, wounded in the battle of P ^^ ^ '' 
Yvri in 1590, as a remnant of the an« 
cient cuftom of military Chivalry : The 
king^ embracing him in the prefence 
of Several princes, captains, and noble 
knights, faid to him—" I embrace 
you with my open arn^s, and declare 
you, in the fight of aU thefe, a true and 
faithful knight ; not only by the orders 
I now confer on you, of St. Micha«l 


^63 Memoirs of 

and the Holy Ghoft, but more cfpecially 
by the finccfe and perfcdt aflcdlion in 
which I hold you/* . , 

The httl accident, which caufed Hcflry 
the Second to perifli in the ihidft of hisf 
court, and in the view of a nation to 
whom he was dear, produced a revolu- 
tion in the minds of the French, which 
completed the ruin of Chivalry : and 
though many, among them the archbi&op 
of Bburges, in his harangue to his {htts 
in 1 589, fupported its caufe ; and Rofni, 
juft before the death of Henry the Fourth, 
and Lewis the Thirteenth and Fourteenth, 
did confer knighthood ; and other princes, 
in fome cafes ; yet this mortal ftroke ex- 
tinguiftied, in the hearts of the French, 
the ardour they had till this time tefti- 
fied for joufts and tournaments : and they 
feared to recall a fpedtacle, whi<Jh had* 
thrown, {"and might again throw, all 
France into conftemation. The fpirit of 
fighting could not^ however, be fup* 






p]»0^, but flamed out ifi. Bfivate. duel^ 
smd^ £oc.wai)i.Qf emplojanenti it oame to. 
If9jk that]Quils.of cpurtefy were turned into, 
CQmbiS|t« of outrage; i which« joined to the, 
dkvlli waf 8^ were nearly tiie deftiudtion of 
tbe. French ©pbiUty* 

To the inti»dtt£tioii ^f Isttcr-s was, 
oifing the. mformaliQa and i^fpty of the> 
Fwach .nation^ Thefc di^ufcd. into their^ 
liearta* ip ^i$ dealiniQgi period of their 
QsAc^ the &ntiments, of tme bumani^ s^ 
and taught them, a HEioje^uniforqi courfe o£ 
Ti0tu0. Dju Guefclipy.we hw& feen^ an4 
ibme othera^ could not even read.; and in* 
ludkiouily d^piied all thofe who knew or> 
profdAcd letters^ AiFe^ng were the com-i 
plainta made by Alain Chartier> on this 
ignorance of princes and gre$it Iprds: 
<^ With idlen^igweeimoiured^ they live 
in eafe^ who are ordained to watch the 
public good; as if they had no other work, 
but ftill to eat, and drink, and be admired : 
fltfid this is their language-»To know letters 
Bb is 

37P Memoirs of 

is a reproach to men of noble rank; t o write 
jand read, a fhame to gentry.— Oh who can 
iDttcr greater foHy ! who can publifh more 
alarmhig errors ! — A king thus fooliih is 
a crowned afs/' The count of Anjou ufcd 
this phrafe as a proverb : Being v&ced 
that king Lewis, fon of Lewis the Simple^ 
and his courtiers, mocked him for mixing 
amongthe clerks orfcholars in the church 
of Tours, — he replied boldly, ^ A king 
without letters, and a crowned afs, are only 
one and the fame thing," M. Fleury, 
agreeable to this, fpeaking of the care 
Charlemagne took for the eccleliaftical 
difcipline and the re-eilabliihment of let- 
ters, fays, ** The lofs of the arts and ^f 
letters would be of fmall account, if re- 
ligion was not concerned in it : but reli- 
gion cannot fubfift without iludy, and in- 
ftrucStion to preferve found maxims and 
good morals. 

Permit me, therefore, to conclude 
this account of Chivalry, with recalling 

2 to 

Ancient Chivairy, 371 

40 view thofe ancient heroes, wbdfe emi*^ 
nence in juftice and good roor^s, no lefs 
than in the greateft ads of valour, is wory 
thy of the higbeft admiration. A gene* 
rous hofpitality, which is the true niagni« 
ficence, appears to have governed all thek 
adions. The . revenue of many . of thofe 
nobles (as is ftill the caie with ibme of 
the firft families in Franee) was immenfe ; 
and it was neceffary it fhould be fo, to 
fupport the nobility of their anceftors, 
and fuch a multitude of vaSals^ . Their 
bounty &ems to have been uniformly dif-- 
penfed for the blefling of millions ; not 
laviihed dway with an idle oi^nl^tlin. 
But, above all^ how praife-worthy wasf 
their attention to the yo\ith of both iexes^ 
whom they iiourifhed with a parental ai)d 
judicious care j and who grew up^ under 
their examples, patterns of virtue, coi^ 
rage, and good manners ! With refpe(3} 
to fcience, their knowledge was defedtivc^ 
tnd their fyftcm of educatioQ rccpired fy 
B b a nxMi^ 

^f% MtMXJiltS lot ' 

niflttiy ^(Mtneftic and military duties, ds tti 
4eavt little iSilie 'for flttdy : btft they iftttft 
4i]ive btrltakied ftiuch if)lbfm^on/ IbfbJb 
•frcmi their CFahrels 4nto di^rant ceu«$ti4e«y 
«kl €4>i^litioii of thciit Istw^ 4uid iiuai^ 
Uters; otiftfrs fr<3tnthe*ekaa: atlfentitfn tb 
ilbe d'iftribucion of j\(ftice, when diey «tr^ 
[ ii\«d QLt the honour df knighthood ^ ^atld 
all ffom the fiarnitiMs made by ^ 
knights 'on Vhetr return^ -the compdi^tiriifife 
of thfe Trottbadotirs, the cohveriatibft ^ 
"^iheif lofde and ladies, ^ttA that of the^o>- 
i>le gtii6fts received at *hdir caftles. The 
priiaical wid excelknt dfeSs of this ^dtiv 
cation w«s proved, in ridiWberlcsfe tnv 
ftances, in the firfl ages -of 'ChivaSiy^ 
'many of which haVe>e«n^given in Vh^ 
•Memoirs. Should ^he view or^<lh 'sM^ 
'We ehalradlers inipire <he hterts of ^^tofe, 
ivho are entering into Kfe^ wi^ lEhe >&Mb 
^modeft diffidence of themfelves-^Ae fSanb 
admirable induftry in the ^'tions affigneA 
them— «nd the lame gfaMfji3> dbibfvttfit, 
.... and 

:«lifl •coartjbous irftehftiob^to tUe k 1|cMfi«i» 
'tors dud fu|>crior*s^ ^fAash AotACp kob^^ 
^tuobfly rifi 4k youth ^ ba& 4bM; in iiio 

it be fhigotteni tbttit^wat thfete^kft'd^ 
thefe ▼irliies ih^edubMiqn^ ^nd tfie incii gfe . 
pnuxury and diflipation from iuchnegled^ 
that brought the kingdom of Franoe, in 
I . /fucceeding ages^ to the brink of ruin : and 
it is an awful confideration, 'that however 
diflimilar in fome refpeds^ yet. in thit 
pointy with all the fuperior knowledge 
we boafl in this enlightened period «id 
country^ the declining, ag^ of Chivalry 
bears a ftrong refemblance to the prefent 
times. Happy will it be^ indeed, if that 
afF^dionate compa€t of youth and age, 
that difcretion and nvodefty, and that no- 
ble hofpitality of charad:er and refine^ 
ment of manners, (hall revive in this na- 
tion, which^ in the firft years of Chivalry, 
were the foundation of its glory (and for 



friiichf in thegood old times^ the Engliih 
were no lefs renowned) ; and fhall join 
with the itcreaie df knowledge to check 
iSbst progrefs^ of diifipation> and reftoils 
thoie principles of morality, order, and 
leipeift, which can alone infare folid wit* 
tnci foal dtega^ce,* and pttblic peace^ 

F I N I S. 

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